The Nordic video markets are some of the strongest and most progressive in the world. Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland enjoy high penetration of superfast broadband, wide adoption of the English language, a thirst for entertainment and a high level of disposable income.
According to Futuresource Consulting, not only are consumers in the region subscribing to multiple SVoD services, but they are also driving a return to growth for the transactional video market.
“To see transactional video shifting course and moving into a growth phase is something of a rarity,” says Tristan Veale, Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “These countries are expected to be amongst the first markets to experience the reversal, a direct result of changing consumer behaviour in the face of Covid-19. We expect transactional video buying or renting across DVD, Blu-ray and digital to grow by 4 per cent in 2020, the second consecutive year of growth. Whereas globally, DVD and Blu-ray declines typically tend to outweigh any digital growth. The biggest player in the digital transactional space remains Apple, though key growth service Viaplay is successfully upselling transactional video to its existing subscriber base and is a close second.”
Despite the rise in transactional video, the market is dominated by SVoD, which accounted for 80 per cent of Nordic home video spend in 2019, with Netflix, Viaplay and HBO Nordic the standout services.
“The Nordic love affair with SVoD continues to blossom,” says Veale. “In 2019, for every dollar spent on transactional video, four dollars were spent on SVoD. Yet, there is plenty more opportunity for growth. With three major established services in the shape of Netflix, HBO Nordic and Viaplay, and new entrant Apple TV +, which launched in Q3 2019, plus the upcoming Disney+ launch, we expect subscriptions and spend to be pushed to a whole new level.”
On Netflix subscriptions alone, consumers across Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland spent over half a billion dollars in 2019 and Netflix remains the leading SVoD provider, but it is slowly approaching saturation, as over half of all households across these four Nordics have a subscription.
“The one to watch is NENT Group,” says Veale, “which is building a media conglomerate across the Nordics. The group owns Viaplay, and Viasat, the satellite Pay-TV and IPTV provider. As of April 30th, NENT Group has also been given approval to merge Viasat operations with Telenor’s Canal Digital satellite operation in a new joint venture, Allente, with ownership shared equally between both parties. This is a significant market move, delivering a new entity with a commanding market position. Not only will this bring economies of scale into play and produce a raft of cost savings, it will also offer TV distribution via satellite, streaming services and IPTV services, as well as delivering fibre broadband to 1.2 million customers across Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden. What’s more, NENT group has entered into an agreement that Viaplay will be available to Allente subscribers and Canal Digital subscribers, boosting the reach of the SVoD and TVoD service even further.”