Sky is launching a brand new app just for kids and at no extra cost to millions of Sky families. The Sky Kids app will offer a fun and safe way for pre-schoolers to nine year olds to enjoy the widest range of the most popular kids TV programmes including Nick Jr.’s Paw Patrol, Boomerang’s Scooby Doo, CBeebies’ Octonauts and Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time. And they will soon be joined by children’s TV legend Morph, who is set to make his debut on the Sky Kids app later this year in brand new exclusive episodes.
The Sky Kids app features thousands of episodes of kids shows, including 16 of the 20 highest-rated shows, available to watch whenever and wherever they need to be entertained.
To create the best possible experience, hundreds of children and their parents have been involved in the development of the Sky Kids app. The result is an app that kids will love, supported by safety features that parents need. At launch, the Sky Kids app allows multiple age-appropriate profiles to be created and personalised using one of the playful Sky Buddy avatars. Future features available later this year include a sleep mode setting that gives parents the ability to limit viewing time.
In another step in the exciting growth of Sky’s kids offer, Sky will commission its own exclusive original kids content. To start with later this year, in partnership with Oscar-winning Aardman Animation, Sky will premiere new episodes of the legendary Morph alongside brand new short features that encourage kids to create their own characters and films at home. Discussions are already underway with other producers about future projects and there are also plans to produce kids’ versions of some favourite Sky shows.
Lucy Murphy, Head of Kids Content, Sky commented: “We have worked really closely with lots of children and their parents to design the new Sky Kids 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. Having lots of great shows for kids has always really mattered to us. Around a quarter of Sky households have children so we know how important it is we give them the very best kids entertainment. That is why we are investing in exclusive new programming starting with family favourite Morph as well as developing future enhancements for the app including even more safety features, live channels and offline viewing.”
Alix Wiseman, Head of Sales and Acquisitions & Executive Producer, Aardman commented: “Aardman and the creators of Morph are truly excited about partnering with Sky on this original content for their new app. Morph is very dear to our hearts and we hope that he and his mate Chas will entertain a brand new generation of viewers on this platform, as they have their loyal fan-base over the past four decades.”
The app has been created by Sky’s in-house team together with ustwo, the digital product studio behind hit mobile game Monument Valley – winner of Apple’s 2014 Design Award, iPad game of the year and two BAFTAs.
The app will ensure Sky remains the best entertainment choice for children and their parents. Sky TV families can already watch over 4,000 episodes of the most watched kids shows on demand through a dedicated Sky Kids tile on the home page as well as the widest range of live children’s channels including Disney Jr, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.
The launch of the Sky Kids app comes as new research shows that growing numbers of children are watching TV on mobile devices with 80% having access to a tablet at home. Sky’s own research also shows that although 70% of parents think that TV in moderation is entertaining and educational, almost 60% of parents with children aged 3 to 12 are worried about the types of programmes they are watching1 . This has meant that building features such as age-appropriate filtering has been a key priority during the development process.
1Sky research conducted with 2,000 parents of children aged 3-12 by Mortar Research February 2016
Sky Kids is available to download from both Google Play and Apple’s App Store from Thursday 31 March 2016. The app will work on 3G/4G and Wi-Fi and is available for customers with the Sky Family or Variety bundle or Sky Q.
Sky announced the development of the app with ustwo in June 2015 as it aimed to build on its position as the best entertainment service for children and their parents. Sky’s commitment saw the expansion of the kids’ shows available in Sky’s on demand library from 700 to 4,000 episodes making Sky home to more episodes of the most-watched kids’ shows than any other provider in the UK and Ireland.
Following the on demand investment, a dedicated kids tile was added to the Sky homepage which opens up a one-stop-shop of all the kids shows and movies available on demand, all kids TV recordings, plus a quick view of what’s on now on linear channels like CBeebies and Nick Jr. Since the kids tile was added in Summer 2015, on demand views have increased five times.
Sky’s Kids service is now being overseen by Sky’s first dedicated Head of Kids Content, Lucy Murphy, who joined Sky in November 2015.
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