The BBC and ITV’s fresh-faced streaming service, BritBox, will launch in the UK before the end of the year. And it’ll be cheaper than Netflix.
The streaming service went live across the pond in March, and is currently only available to viewers based in Canada and the US. A seven-day free trial is available, and after that it costs $6.99 USD/$8.99 CAD per month, or $69.99 USD/$89.99 CAD per year.
Now, ITV and the BBC have agreed to launch BritBox in the UK too.
This will happen in the fourth quarter of 2019, and when it goes live it’ll cost £5.99 per month. The BBC and ITV say that fee will get you BritBox “in HD and across multiple screens and devices”.
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In the US, BritBox is available as an app for Android and iOS devices, as well as on the web and through Roku, Chromecast and Apple TV (4th Generation or Airplay to older models). It isn’t yet clear if UK consumers will have the option to plump for an annual subscription instead of a monthly one.
That £5.99 price sure sounds tempting though, especially as Netflix recently hiked up prices in the UK. Netflix’s HD, two-screen Standard plan went up to £8.99 per month (from £7.99 − a 12.5% increase), and its 4K, four-screen Premium plan went up to £11.99 per month (from £9.99 − a 20% increase).
The price of Netflix’s Basic plan, however, wasn’t changed − staying at £5.99. That’s the same amount BritBox will cost. However, Netflix’s Basic plan is very limited, only granting access to content in standard definition, and on a single screen at a time.
But what can you expect from BritBox? The BBC and ITV say the ad-free service will offer a mix of content from the archives, more recent shows to catch up on, and BritBox-exclusive originals.
“BritBox will be full of the nation’s favourite programmes and the home of the largest collection of British boxsets. In addition to this storehouse, BritBox is commissioning a broad range of original series made exclusively for BritBox,” the BBC and ITV announced.
“BritBox will be the place to view shows recently broadcast on ITV and BBC including Love Island, Famalam, Cleaning Up and Gentleman Jack as well as bringing home iconic shows such as Gavin And Stacey, Victoria, Happy Valley, Broadchurch, Les Miserables, The Office and Benidorm which will be on the service at launch or come onto the service shortly after when licences with other SVODs end.”
All of which leads us to the obvious question. How will BritBox work alongside iPlayer and ITV Hub? Those exclusives had better be something special.
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However, there’s a chance that the library will be ITV-heavy. The announcement continues: “BritBox will be an ITV-controlled venture, but as a founding partner, the BBC will contribute to the development of the core purposes and strategic direction of the venture. ITV initially holds 90% and the BBC holds 10% of the equity.”
If you’re interested in subscribing to BritBox when it launches in the UK, you can register your interest now by following this link.