The revival of Spitting Image as a new original series for BritBox UK helped boost subscriber figures. Going forward, BritBox UK will become a pure archive service.
It follows the complete takeover of BritBox UK by ITV, who bought out the BBC’s stake in the service.
BritBox UK will become part of ITVX later this year. As a result, all new and original programming commissioned for streaming-first will debut on ITVX. The BritBox section of ITVX’s programme library will then showcase archive shows from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. Programmes originally commissioned for BritBox UK including Spitting Image and the Magpie Murders will continue to be available through ITVX.
International versions of BritBox are unaffected by these changes.
Uphill struggle for ITV streaming service?
ITV faces an uphill struggle to convince more users to subscribe to its services once ITVX goes live. ITV has been sketchy when publishing subscriber figures, which makes it difficult to calculate exact figures to see how successful it’s been.
Earlier this month, the broadcaster confirmed it had 1.2 million paying subscribers across both ITV Hub+ and BritBox UK. 733,000 were subscribing to BritBox.
The figures were not deduplicated to account for subscribers of both ITV Hub+ and BritBox, so the number of ITV Hub+ subscribers isn’t automatically 1.2 million minus 733,000.
Last summer, ITV announced ITV Hub+ had reached 567,000 subscribers and hasn’t posted any updated specific figures since. However, combined with the above March 2022 data, this suggests ITV Hub+ hasn’t seen much growth in over six months.
How will ITV counteract this?
With ITVX, ITV is also partnering up with WarnerMedia for extra content. It’s also holding back new programmes from ITV linear channels. ITVX will show new programmes up to nine months before they’re shown on live TV. That’s in addition to shows commissioned specifically for the streamer.
From Iain Hatton / Features writer, RXTV