Last week the UK government announced that they will now permanently assess and enforce age ratings on major music videos after launching a pilot programme in October 2014 of classifying music videos.
The new measures introduced will mean that music videos produced in the UK on YouTube and Vevo will be sent to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) from major UK labels and the BBFC will then assess them and pass on a rating with guidance to YouTube and Vevo prior to it’s release.
Vevo and YouTube are said to have worked in coalition with the BBFC and the British Phongraphic Industry (BPI) to create a system in which music videos online could be classified with a rating, such as those used in feature films and on DVD cases.
One-hundred-and-thirty-two videos have so far been submitted to the BBFC for classification, only one of which has recieved an 18 rating (the highest age rating in the UK). The current holder of the only 18 rated music video is Dizzee Rascal for the video to his track “Couple of Stacks” which features the British rapper violently murdering multiple people.
The move is supposedly in an effort by the government to protect children from innapropriate content online. Minister for internet safety and security, Joanna Shields, said: “Keeping children safe as they experience and enjoy all the benefits the internet has to offer is a key priority for this government’s one-nation approach to help families across Britain.”
Though Vevo has said that it is exploring ways to link the new age ratings with additional technology to reinforce age controls on its website. Meanwhile Youtube has said that the new ratings complement YouTube’s restricted mode which allows parents to screen certain content.