Published: 13th March 2014

BBFC gives a U rating to Hopster TV and learning app for children

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has awarded a U classification to Hopster, a subscription based TV and learning app for children aged 2-6.

Hopster was developed in accordance with the UK Early Years Foundation and is available for iPad. It provides more than 1000 episodes of preschool TV content, plus learning games for children. All Hopster content has been classified U by the BBFC, in line with the BBFC Classification Guidelines.

This is the first time the BBFC has classified an app as part of its online classification service. The BBFC’s service for online content was launched in collaboration with the home entertainment industry in 2008. The service provides trusted age ratings, symbols and BBFCinsight to set-top box, video-on-demand and other online content providers. There are more than thirty platforms, studios and other online services, licensed to use BBFC age ratings.

David Austin, Assistant Director, BBFC, said: “Age rating the Hopster app for children is a further demonstration of how classification can be used to help parents ensure their children are consuming age appropriate material online. We saw our online classification work double during 2013 compared to 2012 in terms of the number of online works we classified and a similar increase was seen in the number of companies submitting work to us. Our recent research into public attitudes to classification showed real concern amongst parents about what their children are exposed to online and it is encouraging to work with content providers, like Hopster, who provide a service in which parents can be confident their children are consuming age appropriate material.”

Hopster is available for download in the Apple Store, with new content available weekly, in return for a monthly subscription fee. All content is classified by the BBFC in accordance with the Guidelines at U. Content classified U should be suitable for audiences aged four years and over. If content is particularly suitable for pre-school children, this will be indicated in the BBFCinsight. BBFCinsight is available for all content classified by the BBFC and can be found on the BBFC website and free BBFC apps. It is aimed particularly at parents and offers a summary of how and why content was rated at any given category.

The BBFC Classification Guidelines are based on large scale public consultation, involving more than 10,000 members of the public from across the UK and are reviewed every 4-5 years. The most recent review, carried out during 2013, found that 92% of film viewers agreed with the classification of films and videos they had seen recently, while 95% of parents with children under 15 said they usually check the BBFC classification before watching a film.