Sky has announced plans to launch a dedicated kids app. It follows the recent expansion of its on demand library within the genre from 700 to 4,000 titles.

The broadcaster is also planning the appointment of a head of kids content.

Kids is seen as an area of significant development by pay-TV providers against the popularity of Netflix on demand content. It goes further following the publication of Ofcom data that 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.

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. ”

Development of the kids’ app, slated for launch in early 2016, is already underway. Sky has hired ustwo: designers of Monument Valley, winner of Apple’s 2014 Design Award iPad game of the year and two BAFTAs.

Aimed at children aged 4-9 years, the app will bring together a selection age-appropriate shows available on Sky, from the likes of Cartoon Network, Disney and Nickelodeon

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.