Since the launch of streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and the likes, many broadcasters around the world are looking to be part of this lucrative OTT industry. In this piece, we dive into how BBC and ITV’s BritBox is operating and how it can be even more successful than it already is…
BritBox is a streaming platform that was launched by BBC and ITV in March 2017. At the time of launch, the streaming service’s portfolio of content included shows being aired on BBC and ITV and the UK’s Channel 4 and Channel 5.
Since then, it has also started producing its content and airing it across the USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa, and plans to expand to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South America.
The idea behind BritBox was simple – broadcasting content from the UK to the rest of the world. It was first made available in the USA, followed by Canada, then the UK, Australia and South Africa.
This isn’t the first time ITV and BBC have partnered for a streaming service though. The duo partnered Channel 4 to launch a ‘Project Kangaroo’, a video-on-demand streaming service, which was blocked by the Competition Commission (a competition regulator under the Department for Business in the UK), as it believed that it would restrict competition and future providers of video-on-demand services to UK viewers because they could be ‘wholesalers of content’.
While Project Kangaroo didn’t take off, BritBox certainly has. It has 1.5 million paid subscribers in Canada and USA alone, with another 500,000 in the UK.
What are they doing?
Like all major OTT platforms, BritBox too can be streamed across a list of devices – iOS, Roku, Apple TV, Android, Samsung TVs, Chromecast, Fire TV, and the likes.
It also offers users a free trial for seven days and has a monthly and annual subscription option.
While a user of BritBox in the USA, can use his/her subscription in any of the four other countries it has launched in, the show availability is an issue due to the rights restrictions.
The idea of streaming the UK’s content to the rest of the world is a great one and can be replicated in many markets.
But having gone through a list of reviews on the internet, it reinforces the focus OTT players need to give to UI and UX. The user gets on to the platform for the content but exits it due to its experience because it seems to be glitchy and shuts down mid-stream quite often.
The app has a rating of only 2.8 on Google’s Play Store. When you’re asking customers to pay to watch content (almost $70 a year for BritBox), they are going to be seeking reviews before paying the dollar and poor reviews do usually raise alarms.
This reinforces the need for a partner like Enveu, that can help you on the tech side of your video streaming platform so that you need to focus on the content.