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Entertainment, Media

On-demand is blurring the line between adult and children’s content

RMIT University 2 mins read

Many parents will be shocked to realise what and how much adult content their kids have been exposed to. Dr Jessica Balanzategui and Dr Djoymi Baker are available in the lead up to the symposium, What is Children’s Content in the Streaming Era?, to explain why the boundaries between adult and children’s content are blurring and shifting.

Topics: Television, TV, movies, streaming, Netflix, Disney, ABC, Youtube

Dr Jessica Balanzategui, Senior Lecturer in Media (available Thursday)

“The rise of streaming video platforms has seen a fluctuation of the boundaries between adult and children’s content.

“Most children now select their own content on-demand across numerous types of platforms, from subscription streamers like Netflix and Disney+ to video sharing platforms like TikTok and YouTube.

“This situation has been causing significant anxiety and controversy, as children gravitate to violent content like Squid Game – encountering it through touchpoints like Fortnite, YouTube or Roblox or being drawn to the colourful, playful aesthetics on the Netflix interface– or to harmful social media content.

“The complexities of the streaming video sector also create uncertainty amongst parents about what types of content are child appropriate.

“As these controversies surge, the Australian children’s content sector is in a precarious position, with an over 84% drop in Australian-made children’s TV on commercial broadcasters between 2019-2022. This state of peril is internationally recognised, with The New York Times reporting that, despite success stories like Bluey, the future of children’s television in Australia is far from assured.”

Dr Jessica Balanzategui's research focuses on screen genres for and about children – particularly those that trouble expectations and definitions of ‘child appropriateness’. She is also an expert in horror and digital cultures.

Dr Djoymi Baker, Lecturer in Cinema Studies (available Friday)

“During and after COVID-19, families relaxed a lot of their prior household rules around screen time for children, which is completely understandable. Research has also shown that children’s screen time increases in the school holidays. This can be a real challenge for parents and guardians, who usually do not have has much time off as their kids.

“Media literacy is really important for both adults and for kids. Children are far more technologically adept than we might think, so it’s important to keep the lines of communication open.

“In addition to setting appropriate parental locks and limits on devices and platforms, talk to your kids about how to make good choices, and what to do if they see something that upsets them.

“There is a lot of quality content for kids and families available to stream. So, it’s important to take a balanced perspective.”

Dr Djoymi Baker’s research examines children’s screen cultures, including film and television genres that attract intergenerational audiences.

Contact details:

Dr Jessica Balanzategui, 0432 397 336 or

Dr Djoymi Baker, 0481 056 540 or

For media enquiries, please contact RMIT Communications on 0439 704 077 or

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