BBC and ITV to launch a new subscription streaming service

BBC and ITV to launch a new subscription streaming service In this week’s subscription roundup, our main story features the announcement of a new SVOD service from the BBC and ITV to take on the mighty Netflix. This is a recognition of the fact that traditional TV players have ceded a lot of ground to the new breed of video streaming providers. Can the new service – dubbed BritBox – get a decent share of the streaming pie? In other news, Facebook is pushing ahead with its new Patreon-style subscription feature called Fan Subscriptions, while Apple is all set to allow more flexibility to developers by enabling them to offer subscription discounts to current and lapsed users. Spotify has also launched in India after months of wait; and finally, Amazon continues to build its pharmacy business. 

Can BritBox stand up to the subscription streaming giants?

British broadcaster the BBC has always acknowledged the threat of global streaming services like Netflix. Now, the BBC and ITV are coming together to launch a Netflix rival dubbed BritBox. The streaming service is expected to launch in the second half of 2019, but the price hasn’t been finalised yet. Analysts expect it to be not more than £5.99 a month, otherwise it risks being compared with Netflix. However, BritBox is already facing a backlash because licence payers are being asked to shell out another £60 for the streaming box.
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Will Facebook’s new Patreon style feature find any takers?

Facebook recently began pushing out Fan Subscriptions to a wider creator base, giving more page owners an opportunity to offer exclusive content to their fans and charge them a monthly fee. Multiple reports have, however, indicated that Facebook wants to take 30% of the total subscription fees in addition to getting royalty-free, lifetime access to use the creator’s content. Patreon, on the other hand, takes just 5% from creators. Amidst a climate of growing distrust in Facebook’s policies, will Fan Subscriptions gain traction?
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Apple to allow app developers to offer promotional discounts to lapsed and current subscribers

Apple will soon allow iOS and Mac app developers to give promotional discounts to lapsed and current users. Currently, discounted subscription rates can only be a part of introductory promotions and developers have no way of using discounting strategies, which are fairly common in the app world, to lure customers to renew their subscriptions. However, all that is set to change with Apple’s new policy as developers will be able to run up to 10 different prices on a single app. Apple seems to be focused on improving its subscription experience as part of its continued push to grow its services business.
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Spotify launches in India finally!

Spotify has finally landed on Indian shores! The music streaming giant is offering its paid subscription tier – Spotify Premium – for a price of ₹119 ($1.68) per month or ₹1189 ($16.74) annually. Interestingly, the company has come up with an innovative solution to tackle the low penetration of credit cards in India which makes it difficult to set up a recurring billing option. The company is offering top-up plans whereby subscribers can access Spotify Premium for one day, seven days, one month, three months and six months. These plans are slightly more expensive than a regular subscription and can be accessed via local payment channels.
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Amazon gets serious about its pharmacy business

Amazon has just appointed a veteran executive, Nader Kabbani, to run its new pharmacy business. The entire team at PillPack, which Amazon acquired last year, will report to Kabbani. The pharmacy market is poised to grow to $600 billion and Amazon wants to grab a significant share of the home delivery market and possibly expand through integration with Amazon Prime, and potentially even start retail pharmacy through Whole Foods.
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Also read: New Zealand to implement new Digital Tax on online giants?
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