ITVX – ITV’s new streaming service which launched this week, has a paid Premium tier that includes all the content from BritBox. Existing BritBox subscribers, however, are in for some bad news.
Despite some earlier speculation, ITV confirmed to us today that the standalone BritBox app (and service) is going to coexist alongside ITVX.
So while ITVX Premium subscribers will be getting BritBox’s films and shows as part of the ITVX app – BritBox subscribers (either new or existing) won’t be getting access to ITVX Premium, and the two accounts will remain separate.
On the other end, ITVX Premium subscribers won’t be able to use the standalone BritBox app (or service) with their ITVX credentials.
Therefore, even though the two services cost the same – £5.99/month or £59.99/year, an ITVX Premium subscription is clearly superior, as it includes BritBox, AND removes all the adverts from ITVX’s on-demand content.
That’s disappointing news for BritBox subscribers in the UK who recently bought an annual subscription – as they may have hoped for BritBox to merge completely into ITVX – and that is not the case (however, there’s a workaround – see below for ITVX’s full guidance on the issue).
BritBox And ITVX: ITV’s Two Streaming Services
ITVX is ITV’s brand-new streaming service. It’s replacing ITV Hub, the previous streaming app from ITV, and while the official launch date is December 8 – the service is already available on some devices.
More than a catch-up service, ITVX is launching with more than 10,000 hours of on-demand content, including 35 flagship shows, 200+ series and 250+ films.
Many of ITVX’s shows will be exclusive to the service (at least for a time), and will be available on the streaming service long before their airing on ITV’s linear channels.
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 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.
Both BritBox and ITVX Premium cost the same – £5.99/month or £59.99/year.
What Happens To BritBox Subscribers?
As mentioned, ITVX Premium will be getting all of BritBox’s 4,000+ hours of content, as well as everything that will be added to the service in the future.
For now, it seems some of BritBox’s content is still missing from ITVX (I still can’t find Spitting Image, for example – which is currently not available on either BritBox OR ITVX).
But since today’s launch was an early, “soft” launch – it’s possible more content is yet to be ported over in the coming days and weeks.
On the other hand, some content that used to be exclusive to BritBox until recently, is now available on ITVX – not the Premium tier, but the general tier, which is available to everyone.
Some examples I’ve noticed include Cold Feet, Unforgotten, Sanditon Series 1 and 2, and more.
BritBox will also continue to co-exist as a standalone service, and direct subscribers will continue to have access as normal – even though most future original productions have been moved over to ITVX.
According to ITV, BritBox subscribers who wish to get access to ITVX, can cancel their existing BritBox subscription – and take out a new ITVX Premium subscription.
However, subscribers who cancel an annual BritBox subscription don’t automatically get a partial refund.
Therefore, 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.
What About BritBox And ITV On Amazon’s Prime Video?
BritBox also has a video channel on Amazon’s Prime Video – which is a third option to subscribe to BritBox.
The Prime Video Channel version of BritBox will remain separate from both the standalone BritBox service AND the new ITVX Premium service.
However, the subscription is monthly and not annual – therefore customers who wish to switch over will be able to do so on a month-to-month basis.
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, 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 BritBox (or ITVX) app, such as Sky Q.
That’s also important for users with some older devices that don’t support ITVX.
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