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Sky to create kids app and appoint head of content

Sky will launch a dedicated children’s app and appoint a head of kids content, following the recent expansion of the kids’ shows available in Sky’s on-demand library from 700 to 4,000 episodes.

Sky will launch a dedicated app for children and appoint a head of kids content, following the recent expansion of the kids’ shows available in Sky’s on-demand library from 700 to 4,000 episodes.

Development of the kids app for mobile devices is already underway and it is expected to launch in early 2016. Sky is working with digital product design studio ustwo: designers of Monument Valley, winner of Apple’s 2014 Design Award iPad game of the year and two BAFTAs.

Data from Ofcom shows around one quarter of children aged five to seven, and one-third of children aged eight to 11 own a tablet. The proportion of children watching TV on a tablet has risen by a third in a year to 20 per cent while a third watch TV on-demand.

Aimed at children aged four to nine years, the app will bring together a range of age-appropriate shows available on Sky, from the likes of The Cartoon Network, Disney and Nickelodeon. The app is designed to allow children to discover programmes themselves, but will include options to let parents filter what their child views, limit usage including a ‘bedtime’ setting, as understand what their child has been watching.

In addition to the app, Sky has begun the recruitment process for its new head of kids content.

Following the recent investment in expanding its on-demand library, Sky is now home to 4,000 episodes of kids shows including Adventure Time, Spongebob Squarepants, and Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom. Kids’ viewing on-demand is already up 50 per cent and it is expected to grow further following the launch of a major new advertising campaign. The new dedicated kids section on the Sky+ home page offers a platform for all the childrens shows and movies available on-demand, all kids TV recordings, plus a quick view of what’s showing on linear channels like CBeebies and Nick Jr.

“We want kids to have access to all their favourite shows when and on whatever device they want, in a way that parents know is creative, engaging but ultimately, safe,” commented Stephen van Rooyen, chief marketing and digital officer. “Sky has always focused on providing great entertainment for the whole family which is why we are continuing to invest in what we offer the youngest members of the household. ”

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