“Whinge wares” – the products right in front of the check-out at the supermarket where you always have to wait a few minutes. Even if you have managed to successfully avoid the lolly section, your ankle-biter will now sit up and take note. He or she will want, demand, a Snickers, Mars or Milky Way. Now Amazon and Google have realised that children react to such impulse products.
In the USA Amazon has been running the service “Free Time Unlimited” for a long time. It allows parents and children unlimited access to age-appropriate e-books, films and series. For 9.99 US dollars a month, the content is also ad-free. This is a great model because the parents can set the use time. “Free Time Unlimited” is supposed to come to Germany soon. Google also shows a strong interest in the target group children and is now starting YouTube Kids. Anyone can imagine what lies behind this. In contrast, the Amazon equivalent the free service is financed by advertising.
Is this morally acceptable?
Why shouldn’t internet services, which are overtaking TV anyway, be aimed at children as well? The idea is nothing new: KiKa, YDFtivi and Super RTL are just a few channels aimed specially at children. Never the less, parents and even teacher should control the children’s use of these services. Otherwise, the next generation will have no feeling for digital dangers, as you can now see with the portal Portal YouNow for instance.