Now there's news that the BBFC look set to expand their remit and start rating vids - they've already been asked, on a voluntary basis, to do so by major acts such as Metallica. This could become a major for anyone considering the target audience for a video, though the question still remains of how feasible UK-centred censorship is in this globalised, digitised age - will screenagers really be prevented from viewing 'age inappropriate' vids by online age restrictions, which are notoriously easy to get around?
See Guardian article for more on this.
UPDATE: This has been firmed up; see BBFC's site. Try searching for your act's name (see this KO post for example)
To improve consumer awareness about the content of certain music videos, and to improve child protection online, Vevo and YouTube, working in partnership with the BBFC, are making permanent a pilot scheme to age rate all music videos by artists signed to Sony Music UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK that are unsuitable for younger children (under 12s). On 18 August 2015, Government also announced that independent UK music labels will take part in a further six month phase of the pilot.
The ratings appear on Vevo online and on YouTube, both online and on smart phone Apps.
On Vevo, the BBFC ratings symbol appears in the top left hand corner of the video player for the first few seconds. The rating will reappear when you move the cursor. You may also click the 'i' icon to see the ratings information.
On YouTube, look for 'Partner Rating' label on the YouTube website; or a 12, 15 or 18 in a square box on the smartphone app underneath the video.
The record labels submit to the BBFC any music video by their artists for release online in the UK which they would expect to receive at least a 12 rating. The BBFC then classifies each video, watching it through in its entirety and then assigning an age rating and bespoke content advice (BBFCinsight, for example, strong language, sex references or sexualised nudity) on the basis of the BBFC's published Classification Guidelines. The sort of issues the BBFC considers in classifying music videos include:
- drug misuse
- dangerous behaviour presented as safe
- bad language
- sexual behaviour and nudity
- threatening behaviour and violence