The BPI and BBFC, in partnership with Vevo and You Tube, and UK record companies Sony Music UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK, can announce that age ratings are now being displayed on the music videos they upload to digital service
providers Vevo and YouTube.
The age ratings are part of a government-backed pilot by the UK recorded music industry, the BBFC and digital service providers designed to test how age ratings can be applied to music videos released online in the UK, so that family audiences
can make more informed viewing decisions.
The pilot has been running since 3 October 2014. The first phase, which has been successful, saw the three major UK record companies (Sony Music UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK) submit to the BBFC for age rating, any music videos for
release online in the UK for which they would expect to be given at least a 12-rating (videos deemed not to contain content that would attract at least a 12 rating are not submitted*).
If appropriate, the BBFC then issues either a 12, 15 or 18 rating -- in line with the BBFC Classification Guidelines. As part of the ratings process the BBFC also includes bespoke content advice, called BBFC insight, which explains in more detail
why an age rating has been given: for example, that scenes include sexual imagery or other content deemed inappropriate for younger viewers. Once given an age rating, the labels pass on the rating and guidance when releasing their videos to the
two digital service providers -- Vevo and YouTube, who, in turn, will display it when the videos are broadcast online.
The pilot will be evaluated later this year based on consumer research, when consideration will also be given to how the scheme can be applied more widely.
Geoff Taylor, BPI Chief Executive, comments:
We want to empower consumers by giving them useful, advance guidance as to the suitability of the music videos they watch, whilst leaving artists the freedom to fully express themselves. The introduction of age ratings on top of the existing
parental advisory warnings is a key next step by the UK's record labels, working with BBFC, Vevo and YouTube, that will enable families to make more informed viewing decisions.
David Austin, Assistant Director, BBFC comments:
We are very pleased to see YouTube and Vevo displaying BBFC age ratings and BBFC insight for online music videos submitted to the BBFC for classification as part of this pilot. Parents taking part in our most recent review of the BBFC
Classification Guidelines in 2013, expressed their concerns about the content of music videos online, in particular their role in the sexualisation of girls and portrayals of self-harm, drug use and violence in some music video content. We hope
this pilot will provide consumers with information to help guide them and their families when accessing music videos online.
Nic Jones, EVP International, Vevo, comments:
Music videos give bands and artists their best opportunity to express personality and individuality to their fans. At Vevo we fully support their right to freedom of expression in the videos they create. We also recognise our role in being able
to assist music fans, and their families in particular, to be comfortable with their choice of viewing material and its suitability. In turn age ratings will help Vevo become even more valuable to brands, helping them to connect to their desired
Candice Morrissey, Music Partnerships, YouTube EMEA, comments:
Over the last few months, we have been working with the UK's music industry to help them display the BBFC's age ratings on their music videos on YouTube. These are in addition to the controls we already provide on YouTube including the ability
for uploaders to add age warnings to videos and a safety mode to help parents screen out content they do not feel is suitable for their children.
* It is estimated that around 20% of music videos released within the pilot are likely to be subject to a rating -- the large majority are unlikely to contain content that would be rated 12 or greater. This estimate is based on a previous video
catalogue audit of one of the companies taking part in the pilot.
The Director of Canterbury Museum in New Zealand has made the news for displaying the iconic Cradle of Fifth t-shirt bearing the slogan: Jesus is a cunt. The front of the t-shirt is titled Vestal Masturbation , which aptly
describes the pictured nun.
The t-shirt is displayed in an adults only area of the T-shirts Unfolding exhibition at the museum.
Director Anthony Wright says they're trying to tell the story of T-shirts within street art culture, without unduly censoring the content.
We've got to balance that up against anyone that might be offended, and we've bent over backwards to make sure that anyone who might be offended won't come into contact with anything offensive. It's a tiny part of the overall exhibition.
Auckland University's senior lecturer Dr Geoff Kemp says though he doesn't like the t-shirt, the way it's presented is acceptable.
Because it's now appearing in an exhibition context, it's trying to tell a story in a more reflective, educational way. It seems a different context to the idea of it just being worn out on the street.
The Anglican Church has inevitably condemned the exhibition. Bishop Victoria Matthews says this should be about common decency. She makes a few leaps of credibility and spouts:
What's the line between art and pornography, and what is the line between communication and inciting violence.
The christian moralist group, Family First said through National director Bob McCoskrie that whether its on display in a museum or worn by a member of the public, it's offensive and shouldn't be allowed.
The public has access to it, and they shouldn't be confronted by this kind of offensive and unnecessary material.