Demand increasing for age ratings on online content, new BBFC report shows
The demand for official age ratings for online content has seen a consistent increase over the past year, according to an annual report from the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).
The organisation said 91% of parents and 95% of teenagers wanted to see the same age ratings that are applied in cinemas and to DVDs.
In 2021 the BBFC classified 5,431 video submissions; 1,891 online submissions; 659 theatrical films; and 104 music videos, the report states.
At the close of 2021, 27 Video on Demand (VOD) platforms were licensed to display BBFC age ratings in the UK on a voluntary, best practice basis.
Through these industry partnerships, the BBFC provided age ratings for more than 17,673 pieces of VOD content, equating to 811,178 minutes.
Streaming services and platforms working with the BBFC include Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV+, YouTube Movies and Rakuten TV, among others.
The report also highlights the long-term agreement between the BBFC and Netflix, meaning that BBFC age ratings will continue to appear on all Netflix content for years to come.
David Austin, chief executive of the BBFC, said: “After another difficult start to the year with Covid-19 restrictions, I am proud of everything we have achieved in 2021 to help parents and families choose content well.
“Alongside the wider recovery of the cinema industry, it has been especially encouraging to see a significant rise in our trusted age ratings online.
“Our research shows that UK families want to see the same ratings that they recognise from their local cinema when watching films and TV shows online, so it is reassuring that platforms are working with us to ensure this demand is met.
“Now in our 110th year, we continue to deliver more of our trusted and well-understood age ratings from cinemas to streaming platforms across the UK to help families choose content that’s right for them.”