BBC and ITV’s streaming service BritBox launches in the UK

It’s Official: BritBox has finally launched in the UK as of November 7th, but Netflix isn’t quite shaking in their boots. Here’s why.
BritBox launches in UK on November 7th, 2019
Britbox has officially launched in the UK as of November 7th, 2019. Photo: ITV

The Launch

The long-awaited launch of BritBox in the UK is finally over, as the service has been released to the British masses who have been vying for the opportunity to sink their teeth into the service.

Britbox was initially released in the United States back in 2017 when British producers were looking to capitalize on the high demand for UK television in the States. With the incredible infatuation of the acclaimed series Downton Abbey, among other British exclusives, American women across the country fell in love with the concept of British television, thus launching BritBox into propulsion.

The premise was to target American wives and US women over 45 to offer something that would no doubt pique their interest. And it certainly did, with subscriptions skyrocketing beyond initial anticipation.

Incredible Gains

So, did the service do as well in the US as expected? They absolutely did – and in fact, BritBox surpassed over 500,000 streaming subscribers as of January 2019. That’s pretty incredible for a streaming service that has been touted to lack in the offerings department.

Reportedly, subscribers are unhappy with the amount of material in which they must choose from. There is a major lack of variety, and in terms of the latest and greatest shows, they pale in comparison to Netflix.

In comparison to BritBox, Netflix is more expensive but they just may reign supreme.
In comparison to BritBox, Netflix is more expensive but they just may reign supreme. Photo: Netflix

Netflix is not Worried

If the service isn’t technically doing as well in terms of customer satisfaction as initially hoped, and therefore, Netflix doesn’t seem to be very worried. Sales are great, however.

BritBox is offering its newest audience in the UK a 30-day free trial subscription to its services. If the users continue to stay subscribed after said 30-day free trial, the service will be far less expensive than Netflix at only £5.99 with no minimum contract. That translates to about $6.99 per month USD. While the price point is clearly much better, is the entertainment offered truly up to par with Netflix?

No Contest

With Netflix costs having risen to a current rate of $15.99 for their premium plan, which includes HD/Ultra HD, and anywhere streaming capabilities plus offline downloads, it’s still quite a bit more expensive than BritBox – yet, there’s no contest in terms of content provided. Netflix wins, hands down. Britbox still offers it’s free trial to US customers for 7 days, with a $6.99 per month fee thereafter. One can also opt to pay all at once for a flat fee of $69.00.

If you’re the type to love a good murder mystery, British TV is where it’s at.

If you prefer more variety, more of the American TV shows, and a larger scope of variety to choose from, Netflix would be anyone’s best bet. Granted, the Netflix options available in the UK do differ than those offered in the USA. Programming for the streaming service varies per country. Apparently, it is possible, though, to obtain a VPN which will trick Netflix into thinking you are in fact in the UK or US, depending upon which programming you prefer.

Try it, but Ditch what You Don’t Love

If you want my advice, I’d choose based upon what you’re actually into, and not based upon what might save you a few dollars. A free trial is always a great way to utilize a service and find out if you truly love it enough to make a purchase for another month, at least. If you’re into the sort of lineup BritBox offers, give it a try and you just might find yourself pleasantly surprised.

If you think Netflix is more your thing, you could always opt to sign up for their 7-day free trial and either cancel or renew at that point.

Just be sure you cancel the trial membership if you don’t want it. Refunds might be difficult to come by if you do forget.

Whatever the case may be, BritBox will no doubt do quite well in the UK due to the long wait for it to make its way over there and because everyone is just dying to check it out. How it holds up a few months from now is to be seen.

Have you checked out BritBox UK? What are your thoughts?

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