The BBC and ITV have come together to take on Netflix in the online subscription streaming market.
The new streaming platform, Britbox, was announced on Wednesday morning on BBC Press Office's Twitter account. They said that the two broadcasting companies were in the “concluding phase of talks”.
Britbox is already available in America and has got 500,000 subscribers up to now. Tony Hall, the BBCs director general said that the streaming service was doing better than expected in America. Lord Hall said the Britbox is set to be launched in the UK in the second half of 2019.
The subscription price is yet to be announced but it has been said it will be a competitive price. Comparing this to Netflix this could be any where between £5.99 – £9.99 per month. However, there has been reports that it will be £5 per month but this is yet to be confirmed.
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) 27 February 2019
ITV are now set to spend £25 million on the service this year and have committed another £40 million for 2020. BBC haven't released how much they will spend on Britbox. The good news for fans of BBC iPlayer and ITV hub is that the new service won't be replacing either of them.
BBC and ITV's current streaming services show programs after they have been on their channels. However, this is only for a limited time then they are taken off. Britbox will have boxsets and programs that are from ITV and BBC's archives. Some programs will be made especially for Britxbox and won't be put on television.
ITV's chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall has said that any agreements they have with Netflix in terms of content they have from the broadcasters would still be honoured. ITV have also said they are currently in talks with Channel 4 and Channel 5 to get involved with the new streaming platform.
However, the idea hasn't been taken to so kindly by everyone. A lot of people are questioning the need for it when BBC iPlayer and ITV already exist that are free. The other argument is that people in the UK pay a tv licence for this sort of thing so they shouldn't have to pay for the subscription service.
i don’t understand why #BritBox is being launched in the uk. we pay to watch the programmes through our licences on live tv and get them for free on iplayer and hub?
— Dean (@Dean_M_Simons) 27 February 2019