BritBox is set to take on Netflix in the UK

Launching in the latter half of the year

Already available to US viewers, BritBox – an online streaming platform build by BBC and ITV – is set to launch in the UK later this year with an aim to provide the best of British TV to viewers for a subscription fee. While no fee has been confirmed it is widely suggested that it’ll be £5 per month on launch.

The US version of the service has around half a million subscriptions and is considered a success and the need for UK broadcasters to take more control over their online offerings in this country will drive the need to get the service live as soon as possible. While many BBC and ITV programmes are available via Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in the UK, they’re often incomplete with whole series missing from those platforms.

If the UKs two main broadcasters can ensure that the service offers all that is available in their archives for a reasonable price we see no reason why it can’t take off here and eat a decent amount of Netflix market share.

The total expenditure on the service in 2020 is expected to be around £65m with £40m of that being provided by the BBC and the remainder by ITV. As long as the service can become profitable via the subscription model it should be a long term platform. It’s essential that the service is made available via as many set-top box and Smart TV systems as possible as any gaps in coverage will set them at a disadvantage to the much larger competition.

Existing licence agreements with other platforms will be honoured – Netflix recently signed an agreement to host the BBC show, Bodyguard, on their platform so that won’t be going anywhere in the short term.

BritBox is expected to launch in the UK in the latter half of 2019.

Colin Polonowski

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

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