Apple TV+ and other video streaming services face regulations in the UK

The UK government intends to regulate the video streaming services which is likely to impact Apple TV+, Disney+, Netflix, and others. In a whitepaper titled “Up next – the government’s vision for the broadcasting sector”, the government proposes to apply the same rules and standards to video streaming services as to the broadcasters like Channels 4, and the monitoring authority, Ofcom would oversee the implementation of the guidelines on video streaming services.

Apple launched its video streaming service, Apple TV+ in November 2019 to offer all original content of a diverse nature like movies, series, documentaries, kids slates, and more. Since then, several Apple TV+ originals have earned awards and nominations. The streamers subscription base is a lot smaller than its competitors like Netflix and Disney+ but it has been growing gradually.

Apple TV+

The UK government proposes that Ofcom, the regulatory authority, monitors Apple TV+, Netflix, and other global streamers

In the policy paper, the UK government states that approximately 50% of adults in the country consume media via online video streaming services and that is a challenge for the public service broadcasters (PSBs) in the country which produce and air “strong, valued media in the UK delivering significant public value.” Therefore, the government wants to propose new legislation to regulate the growing influence of global video streaming giants like Apple TV+, Netflix, and others.

The government therefore intends to act to support our system of public service broadcasting, using our new legislative freedoms to deliver a regulatory framework in the best interests of the UK. We must now deliver much needed reform to the ‘compact’, the balance of benefits and obligations conferred on our public service broadcasters, to ensure they can continue to deliver for audiences across the United Kingdom.

Apple TV+

According to the proposal, the Ofcom regulatory authority will give more powers, especially to monitor global video streamers like Apple TV+ to ensure users’ privacy and protection from harmful or offensive content. Violators could face a £ 250,000 or $314,000 or 5% of their revenue, whichever is bigger in amount.

Bring larger TV-like video-on-demand providers that are not currently regulated in the UK but who target and profit from UK audiences under Ofcom jurisdiction. We will also give Ofcom powers to draft and enforce a new Video-on-demand Code, similar to the Broadcasting Code, to ensure TV-like content, no matter how audiences choose to watch it, will be subject to similar standards. These changes will mean UK audiences will be better protected from harmful material and better able to complain to Ofcom if they see something they are concerned about. Respecting issues of free speech and proportionality, smaller, lower risk on-demand services in the UK will continue under existing rules.

As per a report published in 2021, Apple TV+ has the best privacy policy in the video streaming industry. It does not sell its subscribers’ data to third-party companies or track their viewing habits to show targeted ads to ensure their privacy and security. Thus, it can be assumed that Apple TV+ will not be adversely impacted by the new UK policy.

Apple received a 79% privacy rating for its hardware because of its data collection. However, Google TV received the highest overall privacy rating (81%) since it had a more transparent policy. Apple TV+ also received a 79% from the nonprofit organization since it’s the only streaming service with “privacy built-in by design.” The report notes that Apple does not have a higher score because it does not “provide any information about how they protect student data privacy if this product is used in K-12 schools and districts.”

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Addicted to social media and in love with iPhone, started blogging as a hobby. And now it's my passion for every day is a new learning experience. Hopefully, manufacturers will continue to use innovative solutions and we will keep on letting you know about them.