It's not new, but the new focus on streaming services that has been November, BritBox, the streaming platform for all things British has returned to the news. TV viewing has dropped across the UK recently, but nowhere more so than on its home streaming service which lost over 700 million viewers over a nine-month period. That doesn't mean that the British public isn't using streaming services, the problem is that they are, it's just not the service that is homegrown.
BritBox has been a joint project between ITV and the BBC. The platform launched back in 2017 with an eye on the American market. With hits like "Downton Abbey" and "Dr. Who" there was certainly an opportunity for American audiences to find other exported British entertainment to obsess over. Oddly enough the service did not appear in the home country of its programming until last week. The American market was not doing everything BritBox had originally hoped. Even appearing long before the current onslaught, BritBox never quite caught its audience.
BritBox is also hoping to hop on the original content train, with plans for up to six new shows a year. What those titles will have yet to be announced, but in this exploding market, original content is all the hype at present. Only time will tell if ITV, the BBC, and BritBox are up to the ever-building challenge in the streaming race that has only just begun across the globe.
The cost of streaming, which was once supposed to allow us a cheaper and more convenient way to watch television, has been a major source of concern for content viewers everywhere. BritBox comes in about par with its other streaming competitors at $7.70 a month. It's not quite the deal Disney Plus is offering, with a package that includes Hulu and ESPN, but it's not ridiculously out of range when compared to Netflix's $9 a month either. The real question consumers have to answer is which content is most important to them, and who they are willing to shell out for.
What could you be watching right now with BritBox? Well, you could watch "Dr. Who," or all of the original "The Office" with Ricky Gervais. There's "Pride and Prejudice," with Collin Firth. A very old "David Copperfield," starring "Harry Potter's" Daniel Radcliffe. There are a lot of shows most Americans have never seen or heard of. But unless you're looking for something you can't find anywhere else it's hard to see where BritBox will succeed since it's had two years to try already. We'll have to wait and see what original content makes the jump eventually.