A family-friendly streaming service will soon offer movie filtering.
PureFlix.com, which dubs itself “Netflix for Christians,” announced Monday that it will join forces with ClearPlay, a streaming service that allows users to filter out inappropriate content only when using Google Play, according to a press release.
“Working with ClearPlay enables us to further fulfill our promise of no language, sex or violence surprises with our faith and family-focused content,” CEO Greg Gudorf said in a statement. “A portion of our customer base — who have very strict personal guidelines on what they deem appropriate — has spoken and we’ve listened.”
The service will offer filtering on PureFlix’s library of 5,000 titles, including the service's original content. Gudorf says the service is legal.
But there has been much debate recently about the ethics of filtering movie content. The Utah-based filtering service VidAngel is being sued by multiple studios which contend that it illegally streams movies. A judge recently granted a preliminary injunction against VidAngel.
PureFlix subscribers who use the Roku app will be offered this service in spring 2017. Android and iPhone users will receive an update later in the year. There’s no additional fee.
ClearPlay’s filtering is essentially “a fancy remote control,” said Matt Jarman, CEO of ClearPlay. Viewers will be allowed to turn the filters on and off on specific titles.
Some viewers appreciate this new technology because they have a zero-tolerance policy against some words or profanity, like the word “hell,” according to PureFlix.com.
However, a few shows on the service may still contain inappropriate language occasionally.
Gudorf told the Deseret News that “Heartland” is an example of a show that still has some mild profanity in almost every episode, something viewers may not be comfortable with.
“Our content is family- and faith-oriented content to begin with," Gudorf said. "It’s wholesome content. What I wanted to do was take that next step and tweak away any additional edges."
This ClearPlay technology will allow viewers to weed out these unnecessary words, or mute the program in question without interruption.
“This is a tremendous win-win situation for the consumer,” Jarman said. “Parents can now fine-tune their family’s viewing experience for even more wholesomeness in their entertainment and both companies get to fulfill their goals of providing families with positive entertainment.”
The judge in the VidAngel case cited ClearPlay's service in the injunction decision. In response, VidAngel said it would continue its legal battle and produce original content for viewers.
Jarman said the confusion of how filtering companies work shouldn’t be all that confusing anyway.
“There’s some confusion in the marketplace about what can you do and what you can’t do," Jarman said. "We’ve seen this in the past. We’ve seen other companies shut down. It’s not that confusing in reality. You just have to make sure that everyone's directly compensated and you’re keeping the law. That's just one thing ClearlPlay has done from the start. It really speaks to the reason why we’ve been around for 17 years.”
Jarman said that ClearPlay doesn’t have any announcements about working with other filtering services. For now, working with PureFlix will be enough.
“We’re excited about our partnership with Pure Flix," Jarman said. "That’s the moment we’re savoring right now.”