BritBox launches in the UK
Laura Behan, Account Director
Last week marked the launch of UK streaming service BritBox originally a joint venture from the BBC and ITV whom wanted to capitalise on the streaming phenomenon. Ahead of the launch it was also announced that both Channel 4 and Channel 5 were joining the service to bolster its offering in the UK. The monthly subscription fee is currently set at a competitive £5.99 with a free month’s trial, for which customers can watch both historic and new content. The service will only host content that is no longer available on individual, free catch-up services from the four UK broadcasters: BBC iPlayer, ITVHub, All4 and My5.
From launch subscribers can watch entire runs of popular shows Downton Abbey, Love Island, Broadchurch and Gavin & Stacey. However, the content is not exclusive to BritBox and can be found on other streaming services such as Netflix. So why would people pay an additional £5.99 a month for another streaming service?
From an honest consumer perspective, I don’t see the instant pull to sign-up to the streaming service. The service promotes British content and new programmes will be commissioned exclusively for the service. Does this warrant another streaming subscription fee coming out of my bank account? In addition to paying around £150 for an annual TV license!
The appeal of the service from my viewpoint comes from overseas customers who can’t access lots of British content via their current TV providers. Britbox has been running in the US since 2017 and Canada since February 2018.
The want for British content from these territories is understandable but for a UK consumer why would we pay for content we can access through our TV license?
Whilst I am sceptical of the uptake of BritBox in the UK and only time will tell us its success (if they are willing to publicly share subscription viewers), I am pleased to see UK broadcasters continuing to adapt in a fragmented TV viewing landscape. As an advocate of TV advertising I am in support of the UK TV industry putting the viewer at the heart of it’s future.