The Nordic video market, likely one of Europe’s most evolved, show clear signs of maturity according to Mediavision. The online video market is still growing, but penetration is increasing at a slower pace than just a year ago. Mediavision also sees a much stronger focus on pricing and packaging.
There are, of course, many ways to define market maturity. Without being too meticulous, Mediavision lists signs pointing in the direction of a maturing online market (i.e., where players are fighting over existing customers rather than new ones).
Firstly, Mediavision sees a sharp increase in collaborations between players that have previously been separated (and until recently, they also wanted to be separated). Streaming services and operators now start to work together. For example, Danish operator YouSee focuses on offering broad choices of add-on services and is also the first telco in the Nordics to offer Netflix as a buy-through SVoD service.
A second sign is the increasing focus on sports rights to build loyalty – precious in keeping a loyal subscriber base, especially for the local services. And the rampant rights costs for sports will, of course, sooner or later says Mediavision, land in the consumer’s lap. But right now, there seems to be a fight over which pricing and packaging strategy to choose. The example is Norway: Local actor TV2/Sumo increased the price to the distributors for the TV2 Sport Premium package (i.e., the most attractive sports right in Norway; Premier League).
Norwegian distributors Canal Digital, Riks-TV, and Altibox responded by adding up to 200 NOK (€18.24) per month to the consumer’s bill. However, TV2/Sumo themselves announced a lower monthly increase of 70 NOK for their own direct-to-consumer service Sumo.
Next, Telia (former Get) announced that they would keep their current pricing, hence Premier League, at a lower price than the rights holder TV2/Sumo offer. And finally Telenor followed Telia (given the subscriber commit to a 12-month contract).
A third factor is pricing that has become more important as penetration growth is slowing, and ‘stacking’ became the new norm. Mediavision later this week will reveal in detail that a vast number of households in the Nordics have already accepted the competitive price offer from Disnet+ at €69.99 for a full year subscription.