Insights Ofcom consults on guidance for on-demand providers on protecting users from harmful material


Ofcom is seeking views on proposed new guidance to assist on-demand programme services (ODPS) in making judgements about how best to protect viewers from harmful material. ODPS providers include TV catch-up, online film services and those providing a library of archive content.

Ofcom says that the proposed guidance reflects the requirements of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (2018/1808/EU) and its implementation by the UK Government. These rules place new responsibilities on ODPS providers, including that they take appropriate measures to protect under-18s from certain types of harmful content.

The updated guidance includes detail about the kind of material that is prohibited on ODPS. It also sets out measures which may be appropriate for protecting users from other potentially harmful material, and how these might be best implemented. This includes applying robust age verification measures for pornographic material.

Responses to the consultation must be submitted by 5pm on 14 September 2021. Taking account of feedback, Ofcom expects to publish its final guidance later in 2021. To access the consultation, click here.