BritBox, the online video subscription joint venture between the BBC and ITV, announced that it has over half a million subscribers, doubling year on year, in its second year of operation. Representing the best of British television programming in North America, it still remains a minority interest compared to Netflix and Amazon.
The BritBox service has been running for 22 months in the United States and 11 months in Canada. It is a joint venture between BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the BBC, and ITV, the leading commercial broadcaster in the United Kingdom. AMC Networks is a minority investor in the venture.
“We are very proud that BritBox has reached this milestone so quickly,” said Ann Sarnoff, the president of BBC Studios, Americas and chair of the BritBox board. “Our fantastic team has worked brilliantly to strike a chord with British ‘telly’ fans by super-serving them all things British.
“We knew that our special sauce of combining our ‘Now’ feature of near live television, with the best British TV programming would make this a must-have service,” said Soumya Sriraman, the president of BritBox.
Martin Goswami, the director of pay and distribution at ITV, said: “The fantastic growth of BritBox is a testament to the work of the team involved since its launch, the quality of programs the BBC and ITV offer through the service, and the appetite for the best British TV amongst viewers in the US and Canada.”
BritBox provides a selection of British programming, with many episodes available within hours of their broadcast in the United Kingdom, including popular drama serials and series.
The subscription service is available for $6.99 a month, or $69.99 per year, in the United States, or $8.99 a month, $89.99 a year, in Canada. It is compatible with Roku, Apple TV, iOS and Android devices, and Chromecast.
While the BBC and ITV may be pleased to have reached half a million subscribers, that should be seen in the context of 58 million Netflix subscribers in the United States alone.
Half a million subscribers at $69.99 works out at $35 million a year. That is pocket change compared to the £3.8 billion a year raised in the United Kingdom for the BBC by the television licence, or over £3 billion in annual revenues for ITV. In contrast, Netflix generated global revenues of $15.79 billion in 2018, $7.65 billion of which was from the United States.