The Government’s Broadcasting White Paper, published today, sets out a proposal to empower OFCOM to regulate popular streaming services, such as Netflix, in the same way as traditional broadcasters.

The White Paper indicates that OFCOM will be asked to draw up “similar standards” for the largest providers of streaming content. This is likely to mean that their programming will have to adhere to the OFCOM broadcasting requirements on harm, accuracy, fairness and privacy, and that consumers will be able to complain directly to OFCOM where this is not the case.

In practical terms, Producers of content intended for streaming services, particularly factual content, will have to bear these requirements in mind in the same way they currently do when creating content for terrestrial broadcast, and streaming platforms will have to carefully consider that content before its upload to their UK facing sites.

The question of regulation of streaming service content has come to the fore in recent years following the explosive growth of the same, and public criticisms over a number of high-profile content complaints.

Smaller services will not affected under Government plans.