Sky today committed to offer even more great stuff for kids as it builds on its position as the best entertainment service for children and their parents. New developments will include the launch of a dedicated app and the appointment of a Head of Kids Content. This follows the recent 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.

Development of the kids app for mobile devices is already underway and it is expected to launch in early 2016. To build it Sky is combining its 25 years of expertise in delivering great content in a family friendly way with the talents of ustwo: designers of Monument Valley, winner of Apple’s 2014 Design Award iPad game of the year and two BAFTAs.

The app will mean children in Sky homes can access their favourite shows in a way that best suits them. Latest data from Ofcom 1 shows around one quarter of children aged 5-7 and one-third of children aged 8-11 own a tablet. The proportion of children watching TV on a tablet has risen by a third in a year to 20% while a third watch TV on-demand.

Aimed at children aged 4-9 years, the app will bring together all the best age-appropriate shows available on Sky, from the likes of The Cartoon Network, Disney and Nickelodeon, in an easy-to-use and fun way. At the heart of the app’s design will be the creation of an intuitive and playful experience that empowers children to discover programmes themselves but also provides parents with peace of mind. It will include options to filter what their child views, limits usage including a ‘bedtime’ setting as well as the ability to understand what their child has been watching.

In addition to the app, the appointment of a new Head of Kids Content will help ensure Sky continues to offer the most compelling kids content presented in a creative and appealing way. The recruitment process for the new role has started.

Following the recent investment in expanding its on demand library, Sky is now home to 4000 episodes of much loved kids shows including Adventure Time, Spongebob Squarepants, and Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom. Kids’ viewing on demand is already up 50% and it is expected to grow further following the launch of a major new advertising campaign. Set to air from 29 June, ‘Operation Kids’ features characters from some of UK’s most popular childrens’ shows including Peppa Pig and Captain Barnacles from The Octonauts working together to add the new dedicated kids section to the Sky+ home page. The new section 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.

Stephen van Rooyen, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer, Sky commented: “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. 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. ”

1 Ofcom: Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014