What you need to know
- The UK is making moves to give regulators more control over streaming companies like Netflix and Apple TV+.
- A new code will require that streamers adhere to standards surrounding privacy, complaint procedures, and more.
The UK has further outlined its intent to increase its regulation of video-on-demand (VOD) services to ensure that they adhere to the same rules as traditional television channels and providers.
In a newly-published whitepaper, the UK outlined plans to bring the likes of Netflix and Apple TV+ under a new Video-on-demand Code, essentially ensuring that they will have to meet the same standards as traditional television companies. Those companies already follow Ofcom's Broadcasting Code with the whitepaper suggesting both codes are "similar" to one another.
The report goes on to point to a previous consultation regarding Ofcom control of streaming companies — that consultation has now progressed with the UK now keen to move things on to the next step — legislation.
Timescales for when this will all happen aren't yet clear, but the whitepaper believes that the move "will mean that larger on-demand streaming services will have the same or similar obligations as traditional broadcasters, including effective handling of complaints."
Most of the larger US-based streaming providers already have a presence in the UK, with Apple TV+ providing some of the best value at just £4.99 per month. HBO Max isn't currently available, although there are plans for its expansion already in place. Content that would normally stream via HBO Max is currently only available to UK customers via a deal HBO has with satellite provider Sky — something that will change once HBO Max makes the hop across the Atlantic
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
+The UK obviously has no idea that not regulating these services to the point of unusable service is the attraction of these services. Leave it to the governments to screw up a good thing.
They don’t, but they also aren’t competent enough to legislate so that it would be an issue, so I wouldn’t be too concerned.
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