UK Government, content firms agree to offer age-appropriate online video
| 18 August 2015
The UK Government and major UK music labels have agreed to make permanent a pilot programme to make clear age ratings displayed by Vevo and YouTube.
The ratings apply for online UK-produced music videos, and the government says that it is working with the UK music industry, BBFC and the digital service providers to take further action to protect children from viewing inappropriate videos on the Internet.
UK labels supply videos ahead of release to the BBFC, and then pass on the rating and guidance given by the BBFC when releasing their videos to the two digital service providers involved – Vevo and YouTube whose services display it when the videos are broadcast online.
Building on the pilot, the government agreed with the UK music industry and digital service providers that the measures trialled will be now be made permanent for videos produced in the UK by artists who are represented by major labels. As well as working with Sony Music UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK, the government is also encouraging independent UK music labels to follow suit so that the digital service providers can display appropriate age ratings on their videos.
Vevo said that it was exploring plans to link age ratings to additional technology on its platform that can support age controls. On YouTube, when record labels upload a UK-produced music video rated 18 by the BBFC, they are able to age-gate access to users signed in as over 18. The new age ratings will also complement YouTube's existing restricted mode.