This week saw the UK Beta launch of Britbox, a new BBC and ITV run subscription service that only shows UK content. On the surface you could be forgiven for thinking it is an awkward product, but it is a good innovation that techUK is 100% behind.
Britbox does have some interesting challenges. There is very little exclusive content, and none of it original, with the shows available for free (via iPlayer or ITV Hub) or the paid for subscriptions services. It is too early to tell how the great British public will react to Britbox, but the success or failure will probably be down to original content.
Flagship series have fuelled growth in other subscription services and there is an upper limit to how many subscriptions people are willing to take out. This competition will only increase as Apple TV+ and Disney enter the market with The Morning Show and the Mandalorian respectively. However, embracing this competition through innovation is exactly what UK broadcasters should be doing and the regulatory barriers to previous efforts now look like historic mistakes.
It is also worth remembering that Britbox is not new. The service launched in North America a couple of years ago, bringing UK content to 650,000 paying subscribers. This means ITV and BBC will have tonnes of audience and marketing insights they can leverage to help build up demand.
Overall this shows further confidence in the subscription model at a time of dramatic change in the media sector. As more titles get added and if they get the original content right, there is a viable consumer proposition and TV/device manufacturers stand ready to help Britbox meet its potential.
With the clocks going back this weekend you have a spare hour, so why not use it to sign up to the free trial and see how you get on with it.
To learn more about what techUK is doing to support the broadcast and media ecosystem get in touch via the details below.