Published: 24th May 2019

BBFC releases Annual Report 2018

Today, the BBFC has released its Annual Report for 2018, a year that showed another significant increase in age ratings given to online content.

  • Over the past year, the BBFC has received a 65% rise in content for distribution online

  • Video on demand (VoD) continues to receive more BBFC age ratings than any other format

  • Ratings given to Cinema have risen 62% since 2008

  • Once again, 15 was the most common classification given for UK cinema goers

Although output from Video on Demand (VoD) providers constituted the majority of content classified by the BBFC, theatrical films still featured strongly. Since 2008 age ratings given to cinema releases have risen 62% from 639 in 2017 to 1,036 in 2018.

15 remained the most common age rating, with 392 theatrical films receiving this classification.

David Austin, BBFC Chief Executive, said: "In a fast evolving media landscape, the BBFC’s core mission continues to be to help families and young people choose films, videos and websites that are right for them. Whenever, wherever, and however they view them. In 2018 we carried out significant research with more than 10,000 people to help us update our classification standards. This work ensures that our standards continue to stay in line with what people across the UK consider suitable, and we found that 97% of the public believe audiences benefit from having age ratings in place.

"In 2019 we will continue to make a significant contribution to the Government’s objective of making the UK the safest place for children to be online. We look forward to the introduction of Age-verification in July which will improve child protection from exposure to pornography online."

In addition to providing the latest age rating information on our websites, social media accounts and free app, the BBFC in 2018 continued to provide resources for children, teachers and older learners including a regular podcast, a children's website (, case studies, classroom resources and posters.

Every film classified by the BBFC comes with detailed ratings info to help people view what's right for themselves and their family. Ratings info is available on and the BBFC's free apps for tablet and mobile devices.

Additional information on Age Verification

Under s14(1) of the Digital Economy Act 2017, online commercial pornographic services must ensure that children cannot normally access pornographic material. The BBFC was designated as the Age-verification Regulator under the Act, in February 2018.  It carried out a public consultation on the Guidance on Age-verification Arrangements from March - April 2018. The BBFC’s guidance was debated and approved by Parliament in December 2018. The BBFC will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the new law and it will begin enforcement on 15 July when the law comes into force. 

Read the report

BBFC Annual Report 2018

The classification of cinema and physical home entertainment content remains at the heart of what we do.

PDF | 11.51 MB