Online music to get content warning

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The Independent Culture

Music bosses are to extend their "explicit content" labelling to downloads and online streaming - to protect children from inappropriate songs.

Industry body the British Phonographic Industry is updating its Parental Advisory Scheme to include sales of online songs and videos.

The scheme has applied to physical music and video content since 1995 covering tracks which could be seen as offensive or unsuitable for children, including strong language, sex or violence.

Digital music retailers and streaming services will be expected to display a warning logo or the word "explicit" alongside music or videos.

Some firms already flag material, but the BPI wants to see a consistent labelling system.

Eight tracks in the current top 40 on the iTunes chart currently carry an "explicit" warning, yet the track S&M by Rihanna - for which lyrics are bleeped and the title changed when included in the Radio 1 chart rundown because of its lyrical content - is unlabelled.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, said: "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.

"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."

Kim Bayley, director-general of 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."