The simple answer to the question “who now needs to notify Ofcom that they are a provider of an on-demand programme service (ODPS)?” is, “a lot more people than before”. New guidance published by Ofcom on 8 September 2021 makes it clear that, if you provide, and have editorial control over, any sort of on-demand video content online you are likely to have an obligation to notify Ofcom about your “ODPS”, if you fall under the UK’s jurisdiction.

For example if you’re a UK based media organisation that has a ‘video’ section on the digital version of your magazine, or are sports organisation that has a library of archive content and interviews on your website, it’s likely that you will now be caught. Of course, if you are an ODPS, as well as being required to notify (which isn’t too onerous a process) you’ll also need to comply with the ODPS Rules which are policed by Ofcom. These rules govern the nature of the content ODPS can provide, and advertising and sponsorship rules.

However, it seems that Ofcom knows that it has bitten off more than it can chew.  In the statement that accompanied its new guidance, it says:

“The expanded definition of “programmes” means there could be many thousands of ODPS within Ofcom’s jurisdiction, including many small-scale services operated by individuals. As a result, it would be practically unworkable for Ofcom to ensure that all eligible services are notified. Ofcom’s intention is to focus on larger services or those which are providing content which pose the biggest risk of potential harm to the public, including under eighteens.”

If you think you could be one of those many thousands, and especially if you are a “larger service”, then check out our guidance on the rules and notification process here , or get in touch and we’ll be happy to give you some further guidance.