The BBC and ITV are to join forces and offer a new subscription service to the UK called Britbox.
Britbox has been running in the US for a while and has proven to be quite successful with over 500,000 subscribers.
US users are able to watch British Soaps such as Eastenders, Emmerdale and Coronation Street.
This is alongside period dramas, documentaries and all the other things available in the UK either on live broadcast or on catch up.
Decades of content
The new Britbox service will potentially include a huge back catalogue of classic BBC and ITV shows and boxsets.
Many of these are only available to buy and watch on DVD such as Dad’s Army and ‘Allo ‘Allo.
Exclusive content on Britbox will be vital
On the surface it might not sound like its worth having if the target audience already watch TV live or catch up on iPlayer or ITV Hub.
As part of this subscription service the BBC and ITV will be creating new and exclusive content for subscribers.
The exclusive content will have to great to convert many of existing users over to another paid service.
Exclusive and rarely available historic content will be key to its success.
Will new series premier on this service first so that subscribers have early access to content as well to entice people to subscribe? Probably.
Is there demand for Britbox?
A survey by ITV has revealed that 43% of people asked were interested in British focused streaming service in the UK
This increased to 50% of those surveyed who already subscribed to Netflix so it looks like there is demand for it.
It will be interesting to see how much content will still be on existing services that users already have access to, either as part of the License Fee or are if you are happy to continue having ad breaks on ITV Hub.
Britbox’s price point has to be attractive enough to provide additional value over what’s already available for free.
Will we see lots of shows from the BBC and ITV leaving Netflix?
This would make a lot of sense because if you already have ad free access that you are already paying for why would users bother with this
It wouldn’t be surprising to see content leaving or agreements not being renewed for the UK at least.
When is Britbox launching in the UK?
The BBC and ITV have announced their intention to launch the service.
The media giants have stated that they have some contractual and legal stuff to sort out.
For the moment you can go to the Britbox website and email subscribe for updates.
Given that they have the tech in place and a huge back catalogue of content it might be possible to see Britbox available either in the summer of 2019 or Autumn 2019.