Goodbye, BritBox? With the launch of ITV’s new streaming service – ITVX – the standalone BritBox UK service is slowly coming to an end, as new subscriptions are no longer available for the former “home of British TV”.
The change was quietly implemented this week, following the official launch of ITVX on December 8 – and new subscribers who come to the BritBox site, or those who cancelled in the past and wish to resubscribe – are being sent to ITVX and its paid Premium tier.
To encourage existing and former BritBox subscribers to switch to ITVX, they’re even being offered a voucher code with a discount for ITVX Premium (see more on that below).
Meanwhile, on ITVX’s side, subscribers were supposed to get all of BritBox’s content as part of their Premium ITVX subscription – but many users have noticed that some BritBox content is missing (such as older seasons of Doc Martin, Spitting Image, and more).
To add to the confusion, existing BritBox subscribers can’t transfer or merge their accounts into ITVX. Therefore, they can either stay on BritBox for now – or cancel their subscription, and open a new account on ITVX – which won’t save their previous watchlist and watch history.
And last but not least – BritBox lives on, for now – on Amazon’s Prime Video Channels, where the standalone BritBox subscription is still alive and well, at least for now.
Confused yet? Let’s dig in deeper.
ITVX And BritBox UK Explained
ITV’s new streaming app, ITVX, is a free-to-watch (with adverts) service that’s replacing the long-running ITV Hub app, and is meant to be a full-fledged streaming service, with the aim of competing with services such as Netflix and Disney+.
ITVX is launching with more than 10,000 free (with adverts) hours of on-demand content, including 35 flagship shows, 200+ series and 250+ films.
In addition to the on-demand content, you can also stream all of ITV’s live channels via the app, as well as several “themed” ad-supported live channels that are dedicated to a single series or theme (but not on Freeview Play devices and TVs).
ITVX is available on most of the streaming devices and Smart TVs sold in the UK (except for several older boxes and TVs), as well as on Virgin Media’s TV boxes, Sky Glass, Sky Stream – and, hopefully soon – Sky Q (which never had an ITV Hub app).
While ITVX is a free streaming service first and foremost (with adverts), it also has an optional Premium tier that removes all the adverts – and also gives you access to
all most of the content from BritBox.
BritBox UK (don’t confuse it with the US version) is a streaming subscription service owned by ITV (The BBC used to own 10%, but eventually sold its share to ITV).
BritBox curates British TV programmes and classic films from ITV, BBC, Channel 5 and Channel 4 – including 600+ classic Doctor Who shows.
The service (which exists separately in the US and a few other countries), also produced some original shows – including Magpie Murders, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, new seasons of Spitting Image and more.
Since its launch, BritBox’s subscription price has been £5.99/month or £59.99/year.
And now – surprise – that’s exactly the same subscription price for ITVX Premium, which includes content from BritBox (the old ITV Hub+ subscription, which just removed the adverts – was £3.99/month).
Therefore, obviously – there was no longer any reason to sign up for BritBox, when ITVX Premium costs exactly the same – and gives you more.
BritBox Stops Offering New Subscriptions
Back in March 2022, we reported that BritBox was going to change significantly, and get “folded into” ITVX once the new service came to be.
At the time, BritBox also confirmed to us that it will no longer produce original content, and some existing BritBox originals moved over to ITVX for their future seasons. We were also told, back then, that BritBox subscribers would be moved over to ITVX.
When ITVX actually launched (first with a ‘soft launch’ in November), ITV changed its tune a little bit, saying that BritBox will remain separate for now.
That is – ITVX Premium subscribers would still get BritBox’s content, but a standalone BritBox app (and service) would continue to exist, for those who prefer to remain subscribed to BritBox. Furthermore, ITVX subscribers can’t use their credentials on the BritBox app, and vice versa.
However, subscribers who choose to cancel an annual BritBox subscription don’t automatically get a partial refund.
So, ITV confirmed to us that BritBox subscribers with an annual subscription who wish to move to ITVX Premium can contact BritBox’s customer support directly, and will be given a refund which they can then use to subscribe to ITVX Premium.
But this week – following the official ITVX launch – there was another quiet change: new subscriptions for BritBox were disabled, and those who go to britbox.co.uk, and try to subscribe – are told to move over to ITVX Premium and sign up there.
BritBox customers that have cancelled their subscription at some point, can’t resubscribe either (even if their annual subscription is still active) – and are instead directed towards ITVX Premium.
It’s important to note that the standalone BritBox app/website still works – so existing BritBox subscribers, with an active subscription, can still use it the same way as before, and can renew their subscription – for now.
It’s unlikely, however, that ITV will keep maintaining two separate streaming services with identical content for long – therefore, it stands to reason that the standalone BritBox site/app will be phased out at some point – but no official announcements have been made so far.
ITVX Premium – Discount Voucher
ITV is trying to encourage BritBox subscribers to move over to ITVX in several ways.
First, the highly anticipated ITVX Original series, A Spy Among Friends, is now available on BritBox – so subscribers can watch it without adverts (it’s available for free on ITVX – but with adverts, if you’re not subscribed to Premium).
Furthermore, BritBox subscribers are being offered a coupon code – ITVXSAVE13 – that they can use to lower the monthly cost of ITVX Premium from £5.99/month to £3.99/month, for up to 13 months.
- Update: That code has expired, but there’s a new limited-time ITVX Premium code
The good news? The voucher code currently works for anyone.
BritBox Lives On – On Amazon’s Prime Video
BritBox has yet another video channel option – on Amazon’s Prime Video.
The Prime Video Channel version of BritBox will remain separate from both the standalone BritBox service AND the new ITVX Premium service.
But with the subscription being monthly and not annual – customers who wish to switch over will be able to do so on a month-to-month basis.
Meanwhile, there’s also an ITV Prime Video channel which used to be called ITV Hub+, but has been renamed ITV Catch-up, as it only contains more recent ITV shows, and will not contain the full content library of ITVX (or, presumably, most of ITVX’s originals).
Subscribers to ITV Catchup on Amazon’s Prime Video Channel will not get access to ITVX Premium, as the two are separate.
One advantage of the Prime Video Channel versions of BritBox and ITV Catchup, is that they work on every device that supports the Prime Video app – including ones that don’t currently have the standalone BritBox (or ITVX) app, such as Sky Q.
That’s also important for users with some older devices that don’t support ITVX.
For more updates on ITVX and streaming TV, please Subscribe to our free newsletter.