- BBC and ITV to launch BritBox streaming service
- Broadcasters hope to attract more partners
- Follows abandoned Project Kangaroo service
The BBC and ITV have confirmed rumours that they will launch a new streaming service for UK audiences, more than ten years after a similar project was proposed and then blocked.
The joint vision, branded BritBox, is still being finalised but both broadcasters are expected to add more partners and work with regulators and the wider industry on the Netflix-style service.
ITV and the BBC have already joined forces to launch a streaming service for North American audiences - also named BritBox - for a monthly fee of $7. It has some 500,000 subscribers.
BritBox is set to be an original streaming service providing a collection of archive content, including British boxsets, original series and on-demand programmes.
ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “BritBox will be the home for the best of British creativity, celebrating the best of the past, the best of today and investing in new British originated content in the future.
“I am really pleased that ITV and the BBC are at the concluding stage of discussions to launch a new streaming service.”
”A new streaming service delivering the best home grown content to the public who love it best” - Tony Hall, BBC
In 2007, BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4 revealed plans for an online VOD service, named Project Kangaroo. However in 2008, the Competition Commission blocked the service on the grounds that it would restrict competition in the UK.
The decision to launch BritBox in the UK is viewed as a move against Netflix and other SVOD services and is likely to once again be scrutinised by regulators.
ITV-commissioned research found 43% of all online homes were interested in subscribing to a new streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) service with over 50% agreeing despite already having a Netflix subscription.
Data from the broadcasters audience research board (BARB) found more than 12 million households have at least one SVOD service. The annual growth in homes with multiple services is 32% and an average of four million homes now have more than one subscription.
The broadcasters aim to launch the UK service in the second half of the year. Pricing has yet to be confirmed.