With a range of platforms including TV, radio, catch-up, subscription and video sharing services now competing for our attention, do audiences still expect differing standards?
A study conducted across the UK in late 2019, commissioned by Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, indicates that audiences make distinctions between platforms. “There was a strong desire to maintain the current rules for TV and radio because participants felt audiences were more likely to come across content by accident on these platforms.” However, because they felt they had an active choice in selecting content on catch-up and subscription services, participants “were more comfortable with fewer rules on these platforms”.
Participants raised concerns about accidentally coming across inappropriate or upsetting content on video-sharing sites. “Rolling playlists, pop-ups, and unchecked user-generated content were common worries.”
There was overall support for current UK Broadcasting Code rules and definitions regarding harmful content, offensive content and freedom of expression. Study participants thought the rules “were important and there was little appetite for changing them ”.