It’s the end of the road for BritBox UK, as the streaming service is officially shutting down its standalone service soon, completing its full transition over to ITVX.
Launched as a collaborative venture between the BBC and ITV, BritBox was designed to be the ultimate destination for “best of British” television, combining a rich archive of classic shows with new and exclusive content.
However, with the advent of ITVX in December 2022, a new chapter began, and BritBox was “folded” into ITVX’s Premium tier.
Since then, existing subscribers have been able to keep using the standalone BritBox app and website. However, from April 30, 2024, the BritBox app will be discontinued, and subscribers will be migrated to ITVX, where BritBox will continue to live.
ITV confirmed to us that most existing subscribers will be migrated to ITVX Premium automatically, but some concerns remain – viewers’ watchlists, for example, will not transfer over from BritBox.
Here’s everything you need to know.
The Rise and Transition of BritBox UK
BritBox UK (don’t confuse it with the US and other international versions) was originally launched as a joint venture between the BBC and ITV.
It aimed to offer a British streaming service to audiences in the UK and abroad, with content from ITV, the BBC, Channel 4, and Channel 5.
The BBC eventually sold its shares in the UK service to ITV, which became the sole owner of BritBox UK.
At its peak, BritBox housed a comprehensive collection of classic British television shows, alongside new and exclusive content, such as 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.
However, in December 2022, ITV launched its brand new streaming service, ITVX, which replaced ITV Hub.
ITVX, the new kid on the UK’s streaming block, is a free service (with adverts), which aims to compete with major players like Netflix and Disney+.
At its launch, ITVX rolled out over 10,000 hours of on-demand content, including 35 flagship shows, over 200 series, and upwards of 250 films – and since then, new shows have been added continuously, often before their airing on ITV’s linear channels.
ITVX also offers a Premium tier for £5.99/month or £59.99/year (yes, the same price as the standalone BritBox service), which transforms ITVX into an ad-free service (well, almost ad-free).
And that’s where BritBox comes in – the Premium subscription not only removes the adverts from ITVX, but also gives subscribers access to the entire BritBox library (as well as picks from Studio Canal Presents).
Phase 1: BritBox Stops Offering New Subscriptions
Way back in March 2022, we reported that BritBox was going to change significantly, and get “folded into” ITVX once the new service was launched.
At the time, BritBox also confirmed to us that it would no longer produce original content, and indeed, some existing BritBox originals have since moved over to ITVX for their future seasons.
When ITVX first launched, ITV changed its tune a little bit, saying that BritBox would remain separate for now.
So that was the situation since then – ITVX Premium subscribers were able to get all of BritBox’s content, from within ITVX, but the standalone BritBox app (and service) continued to exist, for those who preferred to remain subscribed to BritBox.
The two apps were totally separate – so ITVX users couldn’t use their credentials on the BritBox app and vice versa.
Shortly thereafter, ITV made another change – and disabled new subscriptions for BritBox.
From that point on, BritBox’s website and apps were sending new subscribers to ITVX, where an ITVX Premium subscription would provide them with BritBox’s content.
BritBox customers that have cancelled their subscription at some point, couldn’t resubscribe either – and were instead directed towards ITVX Premium.
Subscribers who chose to continually renew their existing subscriptions, however, were able to do so.
And those existing BritBox subscribers with an active subscription could still use the standalone app and website in the same way as before.
But now – things are changing again.
The Final BritBox Transition
This week, existing BritBox subscribers received an email detailing the service’s final transition to ITVX.
From April 30, 2024, the standalone BritBox service and app will cease to function, and existing subscribers will be switched to ITVX.
However, subscribers have been reassured that their current access remains uninterrupted until the end of April, after which their BritBox subscription will evolve into an ITVX Premium subscription:
“From April 2024, BritBox will be moving to ITVX. When it does, you can carry on watching the same brilliant collection of BritBox boxsets and films as before. Only it’ll all be on ITVX.
What Do I Need to do?
You don’t need to do anything right now. You can keep watching on the BritBox app or website until the end of April.
In April, your BritBox subscription will switch over to an ITVX Premium subscription. All you’ll need to do then is sign into ITVX or set up a new password if you’re new to ITVX.
We’ll send you an email when it’s time to switch over to ITVX.”
Migrating From BritBox To ITVX
According to an ITV spokesperson, the majority of BritBox subscribers will be auto-migrated to a new ITVX Premium subscription, where they will then have access to the full ad-free library of BritBox content on ITVX, as well as Studio Canal Presents.
Upon the closure of the BritBox app, all remaining BritBox subscriptions will be cancelled, and customers will be emailed about the status of their subscriptions.
Subscribers who are auto-migrated will not need to create a new account or login credentials, but subscriptions cancelled during the app closure (without migrating first) will need to manually create a new ITVX Premium account to watch BritBox.
Until then, there’s nothing subscribers need to do.
However, some concerns remain:
Loss of Personalisation: The transition to ITVX means subscribers will lose their carefully curated BritBox Watchlist and viewing history, a drawback for those who were heavy users of BritBox, and will now need to set up their watchlist all over again.
Device Compatibility Issues: ITVX is available on most streaming devices and Smart TVs sold in the UK.
However, there’s a long list of devices that don’t support ITV’s streaming app – and likely won’t ever support it – from popular Freeview boxes like the Humax FVP-5000t, to Freesat boxes like the Humax Hb1000s, and older Smart TVs from Samsung and other manufacturers. Older iPhones and iPads also lost ITVX support last year.
So, certain devices (granted, not many) that support BritBox do not offer ITVX support, potentially leaving some subscribers unable to access their preferred content on their usual devices.
Lastly, BritBox also has a standalone channel on Amazon’s Prime Video Channels service, but ITV confirmed to us that the closure of the BritBox app will not affect the BritBox Prime Video channel.
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