Advanced Television

Sky launches kids app

March 30, 2016

By Colin Mann

In keeping with its strategy of making its content available to all its viewers across as many platforms as possible, Sky is launching a new app just for kids – available from March 31 – designed to offer a safe and fun way for pre-schoolers to nine-year-olds to enjoy the widest range of the most popular kids’ TV programming.

“We know that kids want to watch their favourite shows when they want, wherever they are,” noted Luke Bradley-Jones, Brand Director, TV at Sky. “We that they want to watch them over and over and over again. We also know they are increasingly likely to want to watch these shows on a tablet device,” he added, suggesting that any child under 10 had never lived I a world without the iPhone. “Around 80 per cent of kids now have access to a tablet device, with 60 per cent of five and six-year-olds having their own device.”

He said that one of the things that Sky had learned was that children are often the fastest adopters of new technology. “That’s why we decided to build the Sky app just for kids,” he revealed, advising that throughout the development of the app, Sky had talked to “lots and lots” of children and their parents, with the youngsters enjoying being involved in the design of something they would be using, showing the different ways different ages navigated their way through the content. Parents said the love the fact that their kids were able to watch using an app that they could trust and was “absolutely safe”.

Recognising that it is “all about the shows” Sky has expended its searches from 700 episodes to over 4,000 episodes, of the best kids’ shows, all available on demand. A dedicated kids tile on the Sky+ home page had led to a “massive” increase in viewing, according to Bradley-Jones. “We had five times the level we saw prior to the service. But we want to go further,” he added, revealing that Sky was moving into original children’s production, in the same way it had already done with drama and comedy, bringing more exclusive shows to the platform. Accordingly, Sky is partnering with Aardman Animation to premiere new episodes of legendary Morph, alongside brand new features that encourage kids to create their own characters and films at home.

Lucy Murphy, Head of Kids Content at Sky, said the broadcaster had worked closely with children and their parents to design the new app. “It means they can watch all their favourite shows in a really engaging way designed just for them. Safety is of fundamental importance, so parents will be able to filter what their child watches according to their age.”

Sky Kids is available to download from both Google Play and Apple’s App Store from March 31st. The app will work on 3G/4G and is available for customers with the Sky Family or Variety Bundle or Sky Q.

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