BBC’s BritBox International promotes Robert Schildhouse

On the heels of taking full ownership of BritBox International, the BBC Studios-owned British-focused streaming service announced leadership changes Monday with the promotion of Robert Schildhouse to president of BritBox North America and general manager of BritBox International.

Based in New York, Schildhouse will report to Rebecca Glashow, CEO of BBC Global Media & Streaming.  With the changes, Schildhouse is expanding his role at BritBox International. He most recently served as Group Editorial for BritBox International and GM for North America, where Schildhouse helped drive the service’s growth in the U.S. and Canada and led its global content and editorial units. In his expanded role, Schildhouse is now charged with responsibility for product and technology, as well as marketing, in addition to editorial.

Robert Schildhouse BritBox headshot
Robert Schildhouse (BritBox)

The changes come after BBC Studios earlier this month acquired full ownership of the BritBox International SVOD, buying out a 50% stake from UK broadcaster ITV for £255 million, or about $322 million, in cash.  As a result of the acquisition, former BritBox International CEO Reemah Sakaan stepped down.

Going forward, current Chief Commercial & Strategy Officer Kerry Ball will remain in her role, based in London and also reporting to Glashow.

"Robert's commitment, creativity and passion for the business make him the optimal leader to drive the continued success of BritBox and I’m looking forward to working with him," said Glashow in a statement. "With Robert’s deep understanding of the streaming landscape, combined with our world-class leadership team and staff, BritBox is poised for an exciting next phase of growth in the BBC portfolio."

Schildhouse counts media experience at leading U.S.-based companies, including as part of the launch team at Hulu where he helped lead content strategy and acquisition. Later he held leadership roles at CBS including EVP of Business Development for CBS Global Distribution until 2020.

“I am thrilled to take on this expanded role at such a pivotal moment for BritBox International. We have had an incredible year of growth and are uniquely positioned to solidify our standing as the premier destination for delivering quality British content to our loyal and expanding subscriber base,” said Schildhouse in a statement. “Great stories can come from anywhere, and we remain committed to curating premium content from the deep and varied creative community across the UK, including ITV, independent producers and from within BBC Studios.”

BritBox launched in partnership with ITV in 2017 and marked 300% subscriber growth in the past four years, reaching 1 million subscribers by March 2020 and now counting over 3.75 million. In the U.S. the specialty SVOD service, which offers British scripted content including mysteries and dramas, has expanded distribution – such as app integration on smart TVs from Samsung in December. The service is priced at around $9 per month in the U.S. and offers current series and soaps, most of which are available within 24 hours after their U.K. premiere.  It’s available in eight countries including the U.S., Canada, Australia, South Africa, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.