Netflix recently made an appeal to the Federal Government to allow a self-classification system, bringing streaming services on par with broadcasters and the digital games industry – ultimately meaning Aussies don’t have such huge delays between when shows become available, and when we get to see them.
And it has worked.
Back in April we reported thanks to the sheer amount of content being added every month and Australia’s lengthy classification process for content streaming services, there was a risk of Australians not getting the latest episodes of our favourite shows on time.
Now today the Federal Government has announced a 12 month pilot of what it describes as a “world-first classification tool” designed to streamline the process of classifying Netflix content for Australian audiences. Netflix has been working with the Federal Government on this tool, combining the streaming service’s technology and Australia’s classification advisories.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because there’s already a pilot operating for self-classification of digital content in Australia. The International Age Rating Coalition tool assesses online and mobile games on Google Play, the Microsoft Windows Store and the Nintendo eShop, and has churned through over 500,000 classifications since its pilot began in May 2015.
According to the Government, this is the first time in the world that a self-regulatory tool is being used for film and TV. But don’t think this means it will all be hands-off. Decisions will be reviewed (and if necessary, revoked) by the Classification Board to “assess integrity” and make sure the ratings are meeting Australian community standards.