BritBox - The UK's answer to Netflix

  • We are in the concluding phase of talks with the BBC to establish a strategic partnership to bring BritBox, an exciting new SVOD service, to UK audiences. This will provide an unrivalled collection of British boxsets and original series. Research has demonstrated there is high demand for British content and ITV is well positioned to deliver this. Research has also shown the willingness to pay for an additional service by those who already subscribe to an SVOD platform. We have agreed a joint vision for the service and are now working on a formal agreement. We anticipate that other partners will be added to BritBox and we will both speak to regulators and the wider industry about our proposals.

    I mentioned BritBox last year in this thread: Will streaming tv services kill off broadcasters? and the service now looks like it will become a reality later this year.


    The new UK streaming service will combine BBC and ITV shows and it's expected that CH4 will join the service too, to create a all encompassing streaming service for British shows. Media speculators has put the price of the new service at £5 per month, but so far the broadcasters are keeping tight lipped on what the service will cost.


    Do you think BritBox will be able to compete against Netflix? Will you subscribe to it?

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  • Will this mean the end of the free catch up services like BBC iPlayer (I know technically it is paid for by the license fee) , ITV hub and ALL4?


    Also will the ITV and CH4 shows be free of adverts since it will be a subscription service?

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • The existing services will remain Ron, but I wouldn't be surprised if they all get dumped by the broadcasters in 10-20 years time and they concentrate on just the BritBox service. No idea about whether they'll be ads yet.


    Here's a Guardian article on this (as always, quick the orange quote link to read the full article):


    The BBC and ITV have confirmed plans to join forces and launch a paid-for streaming service called BritBox by the end of this year, in an attempt to head off Netflix.

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  • Horizon: Thanks for an important update to the thread you created last year which at the time I found incredibly useful. You're clearly a useful expert in this stuff. I'm writing a lengthy comment not only because I'm the Chief Bore on Forum Box but also because I'd welcome your no-holds-barred comments on my thinking and plans.


    My motivation to take action has been dampened, even paralysed by the numerous options which seem to be going through a state of development or flux.


    My number one dampener/procrastinator is my reluctance to commit by financial subscription to a movie source with a limited selection of movies that I want to see. It would be like having to pay for membership to a theatre or cinema and then find they are hardly ever showing anything I want to see or, even more frustrating, much of the stuff I want to see is only available on a rival member-only source to which I haven't subscribed. The more member-only download/streaming services there are, the more fragmentation of what is being offered, and the more restricted the choice except to people who are willing to pay membership fees to 2 or more sources.


    In a way I have been gradually suckered into that very situation with Sky. Their menu shows things I want to see, which requires increasing my subscription and, before I know it, I've segued into Sky Plus to include movies on vhaannels 301-315, most of which are dross and I'm waiting several months for a good new release to enter the Sky Plus channels or I must pay an extra ad hoc £5-6 to download it from the "Sky Store".


    That said, the Sky Plus system of planning, recording for playing later, fast-forwarding through commercials and downloading a movie for £5-6 from Sky's movie store of new(ish) releases is easy and clever. If I run out of patience waiting for the movie to get offered in Sky Store - and cannot bring myself to see it in a cinema surrounded by munching murmuring moronic neanderthals - I can buy the CD on Amazon movie which is about £10-15, which is still a lot cheaper than cinema admission for two persons.


    This kind of Sky system creates for me a lazy soft option loyalty but at the same time I know I'm missing out on better options. In particular I see that Netflix is a big success story and millions of subscribers can't all be wrong. And now that they are producing/financing, at an increasing rate, their own movies and series - and now that Roma demonstrates that Netflix is a real contender in the production/financing end of the movie business - I owe it to myself to take a more serious look at Netflix. I can see on their website what new releases they are offering members.


    And here's what might be for me the sales clincher: I can subscribe in & out of Netflix month by month so, if there's nothing of interest in a particular month, I can cancel my membership (on line or by 'phone) and then a month later reinstate my membership (which resides on their system for a few months, to make reinstatement effortless).


    I can also with Netflix get through quickly to a real well-informed human being rather than a speech-recognition computer that is impossible to communicate with (other than yes or no). This alone is a more than adequate reason to loath and detest Sky and minimise my expenditure with them.


    So my plan is to downgrade my Sky Plus package from £27pm, which includes free movies on Channels 301-315, to their "entertainment package" at £17pm, where I can still buy the new(er) movies in their Sky movie store at £5-6. With this saving I can be a one-tv screen member of Netflix at £6pm and financially I'll come out ahead.


    As for Britbox, anything involving ITV or Channel 4 could have the kiss of death. I tried to watch Endeavour on TV and there are 3 seasons of running over the same period, where the schedule of play of the episodes of each of the series is completely hit or miss. I had to give up learning the outcome from one episode to another (in those instances where each episode was not a self-contained story). If ITV can be that incompetent, I'm not holding my breath waiting for their version of SVOD.


    Ron's point about Britbox being free of ads highlights the other kiss of death which ITV and Channel 4 are hardwired to inflict on their customers. Channel 4's All 4/Walter productions is one of the most tawdry cons I have ever come across but with Channel 4 is it entirely par for the course (Jeremy Isaacs (the founder of Ch 4) must by now have spun in his grave almost continuously).


    It is so typical of Britain to develop a niche that is essentially inward looking. In an English speaking market I feel it is commercial suicide to ignore the American contribution. By all means provide a weighting towards British-made productions but majoring on that aspect will be a Unique Selling Proposition with hardly any S and where the U stands not only for Unique but also for Unwanted - by which I mean a gap in the market but without a market in the gap. Besides, Talking Pictures pre-empts a big slice of that niche.

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  • My motivation to take action has been dampened, even paralysed by the numerous options which seem to be going through a state of development or flux.

    Unfortunately, I've not been able to update various threads when annoucements were made, but your future options may be more numerous that you realise. But briefly, there are several new streaming services on the way:


    1. Disney announced last year it will roll out its global streaming service towards the end of this year called Disney +. As Disney has taken over most of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox empire, the service will include content from both DIsney and Fox ranging from Star Wars to the Marvel univese of shows/films. The Marvel shows that were on Netflix have been axed by Netflix as a direct result of the Disney/Fox merger. To complicate matters, Disney isn't just planning one service, but potentially several service including its sports ESPN service and possibly a international version of Hulu.


    2. Telecoms company AT&T, who are the new owners of the Warner Brothers sutdio, are also releasing a streaming service later on this year, or early next. Within At&T stable of content is Game of THrones and although this series is finishing this year, there are prequels on the way and I would expect them to appear at pretty much the same time that the Warner streaming service is launched. But like Disney, there will likely be more than one streaming service launched.


    3. American cable company Comcast who own the NBC channels and Universal studio are also releasing a streaming service at about the same time as the other companies. Comcast recently took over Sky and have said they will use Sky's expertise with Now TV to launch a global streaming service. Whether it will be a global version of Now TV, is as yet unknown.


    4. Tech Giant Apple is getting in on the streaming game with its own streaming service too which is expected to launch by this summer. Of course if Apple do get serious about streaming, they have the financial firepower to blast away anyone in their way, or buy them... And they are serious with several new shows/films in the works including a tv version of sci-fi book series Foundation.


    5. Amazon is expanding its service with potential blockbusters like a tv version of Lord of the Rings about to be released.


    6. Paramount is expected to remerge with sister company CBS, so expect a streaming service from them in the future. CUrrently, there is a CBS streaming service, but that's for American audiences only. Expect the future global service to be the home of Star Trek.


    7. Liberty Global and Liberty Media owned by John Malone, ultimate owner of Virgin Media, are also to expand their streaming offerings ranging from formula one to BBC factual content, once the UKTV situation has been resolved. There is now a Starz service available from Virgin Media and Amazon which has some very good shows on it.


    8. The last of the big Hollywood companies, Sony, already has a American streaming service called Sony Crackle, so expect a interntional launch at some point soon.


    And if you've been reading the media mergers thread, you'll know that I expect a lot more mrgers to come between the traditional media companies, telecoms companies and the tech companies, so everything above is subject to change.

    My number one dampener/procrastinator is my reluctance to commit by financial subscription

    No commitment is needed for these streaming services. You pay for them a month at time and you can unsubscribe and resubscribe as you wish.

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  • Ron's point about Britbox being free of ads highlights the other kiss of death which ITV and Channel 4 are hardwired to inflict on their customers.

    There maybe different options. A free or low cost ad option and a premium option. Some of the new American services are going down this route.


    Rob, I cannot comment on Sky's services as I don't subscribe to Sky, but we all await to see what happens with Sky's film channels in light of Disney announcing that it wants its own content exclusively on its own streaming services, the same way that Netflix operates with its own content.


    The easy days of paying for a subscription service from someone like Sky or paying for Netflix to watch all content, is coming to a end, in my opinion And we'll likely have to make a decision between several different streaming services, which will be very expensive if we want access to everything at all times.


    Netflix, as was, was superb. You could watch content from everyone from the BBC to Disney and because of that, it's enable Netflix to piggyback on other's content to propel itself to not just being a equal to Hollywood company, but bigger than any of them.


    It is so typical of Britain to develop a niche that is essentially inward looking. In an English speaking market I feel it is commercial suicide to ignore the American contribution. By all means provide a weighting towards British-made productions but majoring on that aspect will be a Unique Selling Proposition with hardly any S and where the U stands not only for Unique but also for Unwanted - by which I mean a gap in the market but without a market in the gap. Besides, Talking Pictures pre-empts a big slice of that niche.

    This is not the media mergers thread, but I would expect a bid for ITV in the next few months, probably from one of the American media/comms companies. That might change BritBox a "bit".

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  • As far as I am concerned any company that charges a subscription to watch should not be allowed to show adverts from which they are paid by the advertiser to show, that is one reason I will never get SKY or any similar service, I have seen SKY channels when at friends homes and they show just as many adverts on their main channels SKY One and Sky Atlantic etc, as the free to watch channels like ITV, CH4 and CH 5 do.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • Media speculators has put the price of the new service at £5 per month, but so far the broadcasters are keeping tight lipped on what the service will cost.

    As far as we're concerned none of these broadcasters have anything of worth on their channels to start with, neither do we subscribe to Netflix or the like.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • As I see it Heero and this is directly related to the UKTV channels breakup between the BBC and Discovery and linear broadcasting altogether, in that our broadcasters are setting themselves up for a future world where most of the current channels will be gone.


    Netflix has only got to where it is because its supplied a product that people like. Pay tv without committent to a yearly sub and no adverts. All the broadcasters are just catching up to this now.

    As far as I am concerned any company that charges a subscription to watch should not be allowed to show adverts from which they are paid by the advertiser to show, that is one reason I will never get SKY or any similar service, I have seen SKY channels when at friends homes and they show just as many adverts on their main channels SKY One and Sky Atlantic etc, as the free to watch channels like ITV, CH4 and CH 5 do.

    I think there will be different options, Ron and I'm watching what the American companies do here, especially Disney and At&T.


    I expect there will be free/low cost ad options and higher priced ad free options.


    Lets not forget there is no such thing as free tv now, we all have to pay the licence fee if we watch any live tv channels and I'd much prefer a world where I can choose what to pay for, rather than being forced.

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  • BritBox: BBC and ITV set out plans for new streaming service

    Shows like Love Island, Gavin & Stacey, Gentleman Jack and Broadchurch will be on BBC and ITV's streaming service BritBox when it launches this year.

    The broadcasters are joining forces to set up the subscription service in the UK as a rival to the likes of Netflix.

    It will cost £5.99 per month in HD, launching between October and the end of December.

    Quite cheap, at least to begin with, not so cheap when they start raising prices... And besides, isn't the stuff that Britbox shows already on iplayer and ITVhub?

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  • You'll no doubt need to pay the BBC tax if you subscribe adding another £12.80 a month if you've only been using "free" services up to now. Not so much of a bargain for a "me too" service.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • My redtop reports:



    BritBox subscribers don't need a licence fee to watch BritBox specifically, the BBC has confirmed to The Sun

    I'm sure it'll only be a matter of time just like iPlayer.:rolleyes:

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • Well, it shouldn't, as it's nothing to do with watching live tv, which is what the license fee is needed for.


    Anyway, got to go.

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  • BritBox UK subscribers will be able to access box-sets from Channel 5 and Comedy Central UK when the service launches later this year.


    The deal with the UK subsidary of ViacomCBS will allow hundreds more hours of content to appear on BritBox.


    BritBox UK is now beta testing ahead of its formal launch later this year.


    BritBox beta is a pre-release version of the site (http://www.britbox.co.uk) that is being given to a selected group of users for testing. The beta service currently only offers a selection of the full content that is promised at launch.


    A new Android app for BritBox UK has now landed on Google Play. Additional platforms will be made available shortly.

    I've just signed up for the free 30 day trial, I had to give my card details, but I can cancel within 30 days. My thinking here is that this service might be a alternative to paying for the licence fee in the future.


    I'll post a full review once I've had a good look around, but on first looks it has a nice clean Netflix ish interface with large cover photos of shows and clearly laid out. Here's a few screenshots:


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  • Mostly, yes.


    As the screenshot shows, there is new stuff exclusive to the platform, but it will be mostly repeats. Essentially, you're paying a premium to watch ITV content without the adverts. Of course ITV's stuff has been on other services like Netflix for ages, so we'll wait and see if ITV retain all their shows for their own streaming service.

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