Can ITV and BBC SVOD Subscription Service BritBox Rival Netflix?

BritBox expected to launch between October and December

ITV and BBC Hope SVOD Subscription Service BritBox Will Rival Netflix

Source: BritBox

Rival British broadcast stations ITV and BBC are partnering to beef up the fledgling streaming video on demand subscription service BritBox, hoping it will rival Netflix. Fans of Shetland, Victoria, Happy Valley, Love Island, Broadchurch and The Office can watch their favorite shows on BritBox for 5.99 a month.BBC reportsthe service will launch in the United Kingdom between October and the end of December. It launched in North America in 2017 with limited programming. To date, that subscription service has about 650,000 subscribers, exceeding the companys expectations.

Like Netflix and similar services, BritBox will be available to subscribers on multiple screens and devices, but details of how many arent yet available. Also like Netflix, Hulu and other streaming video providers, BritBox will offer its own original programming, exclusive to BritBox starting early next year. ITV says it will invest approximately 65 million in the first two years, according to The Guardian.

Much of the BritBox content will come from ITV and BBC, after popular shows have already aired and are no longer available on BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub. BritBox will also have a library of thousands of classic British programming – comedies, dramas and documentaries. Not everything on ITV and BBC will automatically go on BritBox though. Those produced by independent companies have licensing agreements that have to be honored. If they have not licensed the content specifically for BritBox, those programs will not be available.

ITV and BBC Hope SVOD Subscription Service BritBox Will Rival Netflix

Source: BritBox

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Netflix and BBC partner on some original content, producing them together and sharing costs. However, BBC director general Tony Hall said the new BritBox streaming service is the prime place in which we want our material to end up.

These are exciting times for people who love quality TV, said Hall. Importantly, these shows will be truly British, showcasing our culture and telling distinctive stories. Its what makes real British TV so special.

It may seem odd for two rival companies to partner on such an endeavor, but together they can be more competitive than either can be alone. BritBox also becomes a home for ITVs and BBCs extensive catalogs of popular content. According to BBC, ITV will own 90% of BritBox and BBC will own 10% at launch. The Guardian reports that BBC is being given a 10% stake without making a financial investment. It will also support the efforts through marketing efforts and brand recognition. BBC retains the option to acquire up to 25% ownership of the venture.

The agreement to launch BritBox is a milestone moment, said ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall. Subscription video on demand is increasingly popular with consumers who love being able to watch what they want, when they want to watch it. They are also happy to pay for this ease of access to quality content and so BritBox is tapping into this, and a new revenue stream for UK public service broadcasters,

ITV and BBC have made, and continue to make, the programs that both reflect and shape British culture and creativity. We now look forward to working together to launch the largest collection of British boxsets ever – bringing the very best in past, present and future British programming and award-winning content to viewers all in one place, McCall added.

Insider Take

Though the media is suggesting that BritBox intends to compete with Netflix, that seems unlikely, given Netflixs membership of 150 million paying viewers. Until it releases original content next year, it will be an SVOD service that is showing previously aired programming. This will make it more of a niche service than a mainstream service. That said, it has the potential to be very successful, but it will take time to build up new must see content.