Sky boosts kids VOD line-up with Adventure Time and more
James R | On 22, May 2015
Sky is boosting its kids VOD line-up with the addition of thousands of episodes of family shows.
Programmes such as Adventure Time, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom and iCarly will be added to Sky’s on-demand catalogue in the coming months, taking its total number of kids’ TV episodes from 700 to around 4,000.
Customers will soon be able to watch previous series of The Octonauts exclusively on demand, plus there will be more episodes of popular series such as SpongeBob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, Horrible Histories and Ben 10.
This 600 per cent increase in kids’ content follows a number of new deals signed with rights holders, including Viacom and Turner, and form part of a multi-million pound commitment to making Sky a leading destination for kids’ TV on demand. Indeed, the competition for young eyeballs has been heating up in recent years, as Amazon and Netflix both race to produce their own original kids’ TV series. Netflix has an exclusive deal with DreamWorks to create a number of movie franchise spin-offs, which Amazon Studios has turned one submission by a primary school teacher into a flagship show (Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street).
Interest in familiar faces, though, remains high.
Luke Bradley-Jones, Sky’s Brand Director of TV Products, says: “I know from my own kids that they just want to watch their favourite TV characters including Ben and Dora whenever they can. And parents want the convenience of a quick and simple way to access lots of episodes all in one place.”
Adventure Time has been one of the most sought-after shows, with a Netflix deal for the show soon leading to an agreement with Amazon. Now, Sky will carry the surreal animation too.
The changes arrive just in time for the May half-term and the summer school holidays, meaning that Sky’s on-demand service will be home to “more episodes of the most-watched kids’ shows than any other provider”.
A new, dedicated section will be created on the Sky+ homepage to make the shows easier to find for streaming families, with updates to Sky+HD boxes rolling out from this week. The kids’ content will be available at no extra cost to customers with the Variety and Family bundles.
Sky’s on-demand service has been popular among its customers, with downloads of shows and movies through Sky+ boxes passing the 300 million mark in the last three months, up by more than 60 per cent year on year.
For non-Sky customers, the kids’ TV content will be available through contract-free VOD service, which offers all of Sky’s current TV shows (alongside older box sets) for £6.99 a month.