DirecTV Launches Kids TV App
By Todd Spangler for Variety
DirecTV, the No. 1 U.S. satellite TV broadcaster, debuted a dedicated mobile-video app designed for children 5-10 available to subscribers for no additional charge.
The new DirecTV Kids app includes a selection of “kid-friendly” shows and movies from Viacom’s Nickelodeon, Turner’s Cartoon Network, Time Warner’s HBO, Starz and Sprout. Content from Disney will be available soon in the app, according to the company.
All of the programming featured in the app is rated TV-Y7 or lower so parents will be comfortable letting kids use the app unsupervised.
The app is intended to “take the worry away from watching TV and give kids a simple and safe viewing environment without the need for complicated parental-control setup on multiple devices,” said Tony Goncalves, senior VP of DirecTV’s digital entertainment products group.
DirecTV said it is teaming with not-for-profit org Common Sense Media to incorporate age-based ratings and reviews through the app.
The satcaster’s debut of the kids’ app comes after YouTube’s launch of a dedicated app for kids. Critics have complained that the YouTube app includes ads inappropriately targeted to children, as well as out-of-b0unds content citing sex, drug use and other adult themes.
The DirecTV Kids app — available only to U.S. subs — allows users to select from among multiple background themes. It’s available for free via Apple’s iTunes App Store for devices running iOS 7 or higher. Customers can watch content on the app on up to five iPads or iPhones simultaneously.