Are You Being Served? BritBox Comes to US, Anglophiles Cheer

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OTT Streaming Media SVOD AVOD

SubscriptionTrends_2x_Blue.pngFans of British TV now have a new reason to rejoice! A new streaming service showcasing the best of British TV is coming soon to our shores. It’s called BritBox and it’s chock full of good stuff for Anglophiles who need their weekly fix of EastEnders, Holby City, and others—streaming those shows just 24 hours after their UK broadcast premier. Other popular British hits such as Miss Marple, Blackadder, Are You Being Served—even the original version of The Office—are included as well. With thousands of hours of programming, there’s sure to be something for anyone and everyone who loves the unique voice, character, and settings that British TV offers.

The services will cost consumers $6.99 per month—BritBox having chosen the subscription model to monetize which is common with streaming services. Another option would have been a model supported by advertising revenue, on which old-school broadcast television has relied for decades. The subscription model is referred to as Streaming Video on Demand (SVOD), and it tends to be the more popular model for original, scripted content.

AVOD refers to advertising, or ad-based, video on demand, which is free to consumers as it is funded by  advertisements. This model is more common for live events that have natural breaks, such as sports. But increasingly viewers, especially millennials, will pay a premium for ad-free content. And of course, many media companies, likely seeing the writing on the wall, support both models, with traditional broadcast services launching an SVOD service to be competitive and retain and expand their viewership.

As the market evolves and as more streaming services—both broadly based and specialized—come to market, the question that these OTT services need to ask is how many such services are consumers willing to pay for each month? These services are also concerned with customer acquisition, with so many streaming offerings competing for limited consumer dollars. Many offer a free trial period to entice viewers. They may also offer gift subscriptions as another way to increase their subscriber base, leveraging the enthusiasm of their loyal fans into new subscribers.

Streaming services must also grapple with the issue of platforms. BritBox is debuting on several platforms, including Web browsers, Apple TV devices, and iOS and Android mobile devices. They also have plans to extend access to Roku players and Chromecast streaming adapters shortly after the service’s launch.

Traditional media companies who enter the OTT realm are also having to gain sophisticated expertise in the new technologies associated with utilizing streaming as part of their core offering. As streaming increasingly becomes a primary delivery channel for a company’s content, these companies are finding that they need to increase their core competencies in areas such as software engineering, along with having a culture that supports these skills.

Entering into the realm of subscription commerce also means that these companies have to grapple with the many complexities that subscription billing and management bring. They’re finding that it’s not so easy to build their own recurring billing solution, one that can handle the complexity of consumer upgrades and downgrades, account proration, customer churn, free trials, and gift subscriptions. Many choose to partner with a dedicated subscription management platform that can support their subscription billing and management needs, provide critical features, flexibility, and the ability to scale as their business grows.

Download our guide for OTT businesses on How to Recover Lost Revenue and Fight Churn.

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