Sure, the last thing the world needs is another television streaming service and yes, there is a question mark about where Britbox sits in the current market but you know what? I kinda like it.
Britbox is a long-in-coming platform initiated by ITV and the BBC, with Channel 4 and Channel 5 on board, to offer UK-based programming to mostly a UK-based audience. It sounds like a good thing, bringing together the main terrestrial channels from the big four, but it does get a bit wobbly when you start to look at what’s available.
These channels already have their own on demand services, with varying degrees of usability, and that means they have a protectiveness over their content. A lot of the programming on Britbox is nostalgic content, although there’s plenty of medium-term old stuff too. A Confession is on there, and that only aired on ITV a couple of months ago.
I do think the older stuff is where the magic is, though. I got very excited at the possibility of full series’ of Dinnerladies and The Vicar of Dibley, The Good Life and A Touch of Frost. My Family back when it was good! All of Broadchurch where I only managed to watch the first series! And the main conversation Mr C and I had upon the launch of this service was: “Is [insert old sitcom] on there?” over and over again.
To differentiate yourself in this market, I think having the hook of “nostalgic content held here” could work really well. And there’s plenty they’re still missing that they could introduce to keep people hooked. I don’t care that the stupid Open All Hours spin off is on there but the original? Bring it on! Give me your Upper Hands and your 2.4 Childrens, and Hearts and Bones! Does anyone remember that? What Hugo Speer did next after Full Monty? I loved that show. Make it all available to me please.
So I think Britbox is worth a look if you want to spend some of your TV watching time in the past, but if you’re all about the shiny and new then you’re probably better served elsewhere.