Parent's Guide to debut on Sky Q

Sky has launched a new Parents’ Guide on Sky Q, providing in-depth ratings for more than 3,500 movies in the latest update to Sky's premium product which will also bring more personalised recommendations.

Created in partnership with non-profit organisation Common Sense Media, the new Parents’ Guide gives families extra details to make more informed choices about which movies they watch.
Sky says that the Parents’ Guide is "designed to help families choose movies that are not only age-appropriate but also educational, so kids can make the most of the time they spend watching TV. "

When customers select any movie on Sky – whether from Sky Cinema, Sky Store or from one of our partner movie channels, they’ll be able to select the Parents’ Guide via the Sky Q sidebar menu.

The guide then provides a unique zero-to-five rating for each film across seven different categories:
  • Violence & Scariness
  • Positive Messages
  • Consumerism
  • ‘Sexy Stuff’
  • Positive Role Models & Representation
  • Language
  • Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
  • Educational Value

According to Sky, each movie is personally reviewed by Common Sense Media researchers, who "combine their expertise of child development and film knowledge to build detailed category ratings, catering specifically for children. The ratings carefully consider each film’s classification based on its proposed rating". 

  • For example, a ‘12 rated’ movie will be assessed with a pre-teen audience in mind – if it’s awarded five stars for violence, then it’s a film that 12-year olds could find especially violent, whilst adults may think it’s milder.

Stephen van Rooyen, CEO UK & Ireland, Sky said 
The New Parents’ Guide, which provides expert guidance on everything from the educational value of a movie through to the violence it contains, adds to the wide range of products we offer to safety-conscious parents. From toddlers to teens, it is our responsibility to keep families safe on Sky – we’ve launched Broadband Buddy so families can manage their internet access, while kids can safely watch their favourite characters on the Sky Kids app.

Jill Murphy, Common Sense Media, said 
Our goal is to give Sky customers trusted information, so they can decide what movies work for them. Our ratings are based on child development and what they are ready for, no matter what the age classification says. Beyond violence and bad language, we also look at how characters talk to each other, if they’re respectful towards each other and their parents. What one five-year-old may enjoy, another may find upsetting, so we want to take some of the guesswork out of this process.

The Parents’ Guide will join Sky’s suite of existing products and services which ensure children’s safety online and when watching TV. 

In a further update, Sky Q will soon also feature new Personalised Recommendation rails on the ‘Featured’ section for On Demand, Sky Box Sets and Catch up TV. The rails will offer suggestions based viewing history and trending content, including:
  • ‘Because you watched’ – Similar content to what has previously been viewed
  • ‘Personalised genre’ – Content from genres regularly watched
  • ‘Trending this week’ – Popular shows that everyone is watching

The Parents’ Guide will roll out to Sky Q customers from today and will be in all Sky Q homes by the end of August. The Sky Q personalisation updates will be introduced later this summer.

A number of bug fixes will also be included in the update, including one that resolves Spotify crashing after playing tracks and subtitles missing on Sky Q Mini box recordings.

STV's on-demand service is also added to the platform with the update, following STV's announcement in May 2019 - part of an agreement with Sky that also included the roll-out of additional regions in HD.