Britbox, the streaming platform operated by UK broadcasters BBC and ITV, will launch later this year in Australia. Pricing for the service is expected to be announced closer to launch.
It originally debuted in the US and Canada in 2017 before launching at home in the UK recently. It has amassed more than one million subscribers and claims to be profitable.
In the UK, a Britbox subscription costs £5.99 per month while in the US, it’s $US5.99 per month.
Britbox could feature British TV series such as The Office, Poldark, Blackadder, Absolutely Fabulous, Call the Midwife and Endeavour, enough to satiate any Anglophile’s viewing needs.
In the UK, the Britbox library includes Broadchurch, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey and Wolf Hall, but as with any global streaming service, catalogues vary from region to region due to existing content deals.
Fiona Lang, general manager for BBC Studios Australia and New Zealand said in a statement: “There’s a real opportunity to build on the momentum and brand that has been established in North America and to make Britbox part of BBC Studios’ future strategy in Australia.
“Complementing our existing partnerships in the region, Britbox will draw on our vast combined catalogue of acclaimed British content and will deliver it directly to Australian audiences via a proven and seamless streaming service.”
Presently, BBC and ITV content is available across a range of broadcast networks and streaming services in Australia, including a dedicated BBC First channel on Foxtel and Fetch, while the ABC retains broadcast rights to Doctor Who.
Britbox’s imminent arrival will not affect existing content agreements in Australia.
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Despite our small population Australia is a lucrative market for international streaming players because of our shared English language and early adopter habits.
Australia was among the first handful of markets for Disney+ when it arrived locally this past November. Disney+ is only now rolling out across most European markets this month.
Netflix’s entry into this market in 2015 dramatically changed entrenched viewing habits where previously take-up of pay TV ceilinged out at roughly 30 per cent.
According to Roy Morgan research from December, 14.5 million Australians now have access to some form of pay TV or subscription streaming service, the most popular being Netflix with 11.9 million Australians with a Netflix subscription in their household.
Netflix has never released country-specific subscriber numbers outside of the US.
Locally, Australian streaming service Stan have more than 1.7 million subscribers, while Roy Morgan estimated Stan reaches 3.3 million viewers.
Roy Morgan stated many Australian households have access to multiple streaming services.
According to recently released research from Creative Content Australia, 13 per cent of adults and 19 per cent of teenagers have access to more than three subscription services.
Britbox is launching at a time when there is a glut of streaming options in Australia, with the recent, high-profile launches of Apple TV+ and Disney+ late last year.
In addition, there are also Netflix, Stan, Foxtel Now, Kayo, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube Premium, DocPlay, iWonder, Hayu and 10 All Access.
There’s even already a niche streaming service focused on British TV content, Acorn TV.
And if that’s all too rich for you, there are free streaming services including ABC iview, SBS On Demand and Kanopy.
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