VSP regulation: Ofcom UK launches first round of consultation

posted on 04 December, 2020   (public)

Video-sharing platforms and self-assessment: who needs to notify to Ofcom?

As was announced in a recent EPRA news item, on 21 October 2020, UK converged regulator Ofcom released a short guide with the aim to assist stakeholders to understand the newly applicable obligations stemming from the transposition of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, as well as its approach to carrying out its new duties regarding video-sharing platforms (VSP).

The short guide is a first step ahead of the publication of further detailed guidance in 2021 which will provide examples of harmful content and good practices, based on previous consultation with VSPs.

With this in mind, Ofcom has planned a series of three consultations on the following key issues:

  • the scope of the statutory rules;

  • the definition of harms and appropriate measures;

  • obligations regarding advertising.


On 19 November 2020, Ofcom launched its first consultation: who needs to notify to Ofcom?


Under the new rules, VSPs are responsible for self-assessing whether their service meets the definition of a VSP, and whether it falls within UK jurisdiction. If so, they will be formally required to notify to Ofcom between 6 April and 6 May 2021.

Which VSPs are concerned according to the new rules?

  • Any service provider whose principal purpose or one of its essential functionality is to provide videos for members of the public by electronic communications networks, on a commercial basis and with a general control of the provider limited to the manner in which videos are organised on the service.
  • Only providers established in the UK under the e-Commerce Directive.

This consultation intends to seek views from interested or affected parties on the proposed guidance, aimed at helping providers self-assess whether they meet the criteria to be in the scope of the new statutory rules.


The consultation is open until 5pm on 14 January 2021.


Source: Ofcom website