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EDIT – January 18, 2018: The missing episodes issue in this post has been resolved. At this time, the only major issue we can find with the Amazon BritBox subscription is that the episodes sometimes appear a few hours later than they do for those with a subscription directly with BritBox.com.
Our current recommendation for BritBox on Amazon is that it's best for people who:
- Have quality issues streaming from BritBox's app – for example, when I'm in rural Illinois, I get much better streaming from Amazon. I've heard other stories that vary by internet service provider. Since both offer a free trial, I'd encourage you to try both and see which you like best.
- Who appreciate the convenience of only entering their credit card in one place (Amazon lets you subscribe to both BritBox and Acorn) or having access to an easy “manage your subscriptions” page.
- Who have smart TVs that have an Amazon app but no BritBox app
- Who have an Amazon reward credit card and wish to earn the bonus cash back you get when spending money at Amazon (but note that for Acorn, you can pre-pay a year for $50 when going direct, so that's a larger savings).
As we said, the big drawback with going through Amazon is that brand new episodes might take a few extra hours to arrive. There's also the fact that when you buy channels through Amazon, the actual services get a slightly smaller amount for each subscription – so if that bothers you and you don't get much benefit from Amazon vs. direct, consider going direct.
As much as I love my BritBox subscription, it seems like there are a few things where they've really dropped the ball since their launch earlier this year. A lot of people have had technical difficulties and billing problems. The interface is a bit wonky and it doesn't make it easy to get back to the next show in a series you're watching. Some people have had trouble finding shows.
Tip: This page lists everything on BritBox if you have the patience to keep hitting “See More” at the bottom.
All of that's forgivable of a new service, and it does seem like they've been working hard to work the bugs out. Unfortunately, there's one pretty major issue I feel the need to warn people about. A week or two ago, we announced that BritBox had finally released an Amazon channel where you can subscribe to their service through Amazon and watch on your Fire Stick or Fire TV. This was (and still is) a great thing for those who've had trouble signing up on another device.
The only problem? The Amazon subscription is $6.99, just like the direct BritBox.com subscription – but it's missing tons of content. For example, if you wanted to watch Cracker on BritBox on Amazon, you'd find 1 episode randomly missing from Series 3, and Series 4 isn't there, either (Thanks for the heads up, Eileen V!). Those episodes ARE available on the main BritBox.com subscription. I've heard from several people now about missing episodes or seasons, which is really disappointing since we had such high hopes for the Amazon alternative.
This would all be fine if they included that information on the Amazon sales page, or if they offered a lower subscription rate for the inferior subscription. As of today, that's not the case. While we do think the Amazon BritBox channel is a good thing, and we do think it will improve over time, we don't recommend it for everyone just yet. There's a lot of content there, for sure, but it's just not as good as the direct subscription. So – who should get it?
- Those who have a Fire Stick or Fire TV and can't get the Roku app
- Those who have had technical troubles signing up with BritBox directly
- Those who just prefer Amazon's billing and interface so much that they aren't bothered by a few missing episodes here and there
If you CAN get BritBox directly from BritBox, that's definitely the better option right now. We'll keep an eye on the situation and let everyone know if that changes. We still love BritBox and we have faith they'll remedy the situation soon, but we also want to make everyone aware of the potential drawbacks before they spend their hard-earned money.
Where to Get BritBox?
- If you have a Roku, Apple TV, iPad, computer, Android device, or Chromecast, you can sign up directly with BritBox HERE.
- If you wish to sign up for BritBox through Amazon, you can do so HERE.
Remember, these are two totally separate subscriptions. If you sign up on their website, you won't be able to watch through Amazon. If you sign up on Amazon, you won't be able to watch on their website (though you CAN add the Amazon channel to your Roku and watch it on Roku that way with the Amazon subscription). If you sign up for both, you'll get two bills. I just wanted to make that extra clear since I know we have a lot of people here who didn't grow up with technology, and it can all get a little overwhelming sometimes!
After founding I Heart British TV in 2016 as a resource for her granny, Stefanie has grown I Heart British TV into a resource that serves millions of British TV fans every year. When not writing posts or editing contributions to the site, you can probably find her working on the latest print edition of the British TV Streaming Guide.