June 18, 2013 -- There's no homework after camp and road trips can be very long. Those are just a couple of reasons why streaming-video service Netflix sees a 30 percent uptick in kids and family usage during the summer months.
But the company is hoping to see an even bigger spike in family and children's video streaming this summer. Starting today, a new section of the website, called Netflix Families, will provide a breakdown of the Netflix basics for newbies and lists of family-friendly video content that's available through the service.
Available at www.netflix.com/families, the site will contain a series of video tutorials about what video streaming is, as well as different lists of content, including an "Are We There Yet" playlist, which includes shows like "Scooby Doo" for watching in an airport.
Another list called "TV for Curious Kids" contains shows like "How It Is Made" and "The Planets," which are intended to provide educational programming for kids in the summer off months.
But the real intention of Netflix Families is to get more people using the service and streaming.
"We know families are really using Netflix more during the summer -- we see that going up," Netflix Director of Public Relations Jenny McCabe told ABC News. "We want to make that easy for people who aren't using Netflix yet. We are trying to appeal to those people who are still using DVDs and haven't gotten into streaming yet."
On Monday, Netflix announced it was partnering with DreamWorks Animation to provide original kids programming, including new shows and movie releases, through the service. There will be more than 300 hours of video added to Netflix through the deal, which begins in 2014.
Netflix is accessible on computers through Netflix.com and various mobile devices through the Netflix apps. The service is also available through Internet-connected set-top boxes, TVs and gaming consoles, like the Xbox or Wii U. The subscription service costs $7.99 a month and includes unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes.
But if all that sounds overwhelming, the new tutorials on Netflix Families will explain how to access the service and the whole idea of streaming vs. downloading videos. (If you don't have an Internet connection, you can't access Netflix or the video content.) Netflix has created videos with young mothers and fathers to demonstrate how to set up an account and get started.
Netflix plans to offer new features to make the service very enticing to families and its more than 36 million users. In August, it will add a new user profile feature, allowing parents to set up a profile for themselves for their personal adult content and another for their kids. With that, Netflix's recommendation engine will be able to provide more tailored and appropriate recommendations to families that share one account.
But when it comes to streaming kids content, there might be a major reason from some parents to hold out: the lack of "Dora Explorer" or "Spongebob." The company lost access to Nickelodeon programming earlier this year. Amazon, its lead competitor in the space, continues to provide access to Viacom's popular kids programming.
Still, Netflix says it is well suited to appeal to both kids and adult users and is trying to capture both those key markets by just getting families in the door. Unlike Netflix.com, which requires that you log in to see content and options, Netflix.com/families won't require users to log in to see titles or browse videos.
"This is for people who want to know more about Netflix," McCabe said. "You don't have to be a member for the Families page -- we really want people to play around with this."