Published: 29th April 2022

Statement on the Government’s response to its VOD consultation

The BBFC welcomes the Government’s published response to its consultation on audience protection standards on video-on-demand services.

In particular, we are pleased to see the Government reiterate its support for VOD and streaming services to adopt BBFC age ratings on a voluntary basis:

“The Government continues to view these as best practice for content exhibited to UK audiences on account of being widely recognised by the public, underpinned by a transparent set of standards, and informed by regular consultation with the UK public. The Government is keen to encourage video-on-demand services to consider applying BBFC age ratings to their content; but it is of the view that the existing evidence does not warrant mandating their use.”

BBFC research has shown that parents (91%) and teens (95%) want to see the BBFC age ratings they know from cinema and DVD applied consistently on VOD platforms, and that where they are available they find them helpful. We currently work with over 25 services in the UK, including Amazon, Apple and Netflix, who carry trusted BBFC age ratings on 100% of their content.

David Austin, Chief Executive of the BBFC, said: “When choosing content, families across the UK need to be able to rely on trusted guidance that reflects their values and concerns. Nine out of ten parents say that they want the ratings they know from cinema and DVD to be displayed online, too. We look forward to continuing our work with our VOD partners, to establishing new partnerships in order to meet this clear demand, and to working closely with Ofcom to support their regulation in this area.”