Why do consumers in the U.S. and other parts of the world pay for streaming service BritBox International? It might simply come down to providing a British-flavored form of escapism through its deep library of Brit hit programming from the likes of ITV and the BBC, according to one top executive.

“It is clearly an alternative for a group of people,” Reemah Sakaan, the CEO of BritBox International, said at the Media and Telecoms 2022 & Beyond conference, organized by Deloitte and Enders Analysis, on Thursday. “It is … a sanctuary, a haven.”

She also touted BritBox as a “very distinctive brand” in a streaming sector that has become increasingly crowded. After all, Hollywood giants, technology powerhouses and niche players are all competing for subscribers these days, with industry experts as of late noting that rising inflation and a reopening of many countries’ economies after the coronavirus pandemic pose new challenges, both monetary and in terms of their time, for at least some consumers.

Netflix’s surprise first-quarter subscriber loss has also focused more attention of industry executives and analysts on what makes streaming services sustainable, profitable and sticky long-term.

In its first-quarter financial update on Wednesday, ITV noted the momentum of its streaming service BritBox U.K. at home and its international version outside of Britain, without providing latest subscriber figures. “BritBox International is delivering good growth in subscriptions in line with our plan across the U.S., Canada, Australia and South Africa and the recent successful launch in the Nordics,” the company said.

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