Entertainment & Arts

Parental warning for explicit online music

Eminem
Image caption The warnings will appear on sites selling digital copies of music artists like Eminem

Digital songs and music videos containing explicit lyrics are to be flagged up for the first time, the UK's industry body has announced.

The current Parental Guidance logos, operated by the British Recorded Music Industry (BPI), have appeared on physical CD copies since 1995.

Most music online services, apart from Apple's iTunes, do not yet have a parental advisory system.

The BPI said the guidelines will be issued within the next few weeks.

It is then up to the individual music services when it adopts the advice.

BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: "We are updating our Parental Advisory Scheme for the digital age to ensure that explicit songs and videos are clearly labelled, giving parents the ability to identify material that may not be appropriate for their children."

He added: "We think it is important for parents to get the same standards of guidance and information online as they get when buying CDs or DVDs on the high street."

The BPI's updated Parental Advisory Scheme will stipulate that UK digital music retailers and streaming services should clearly display the internationally-recognised Parental Advisory logo or the word 'EXPLICIT' alongside any music or video files flagged as containing explicit content.

The warnings will feature on Google-owned YouTube, Spotify, Napster and Vevo, the music video website founded by Universal Music and Sony Music.

Entertainment retailers and digital service providers have welcomed the move.

Kim Bayley, from the Entertainment Retailers Association, said: "Retailers work at the sharp end of the entertainment industry and are keen to be able to provide accurate information so that customers can make informed choices about their purchases."

Last month, the BPI announced that digital music sales in the UK had broken through the £1 billion barrier for the first time since downloads were launched in 2004.

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