An unusually diverse range of content interests means the Nordics provide ample growth opportunity for new US studio-led streamers and other new international services such as BritBox that can leverage demand for UK and US content, according to consultancy firm Ampere Analysis.
Scandinavians show strong interest in both local and international content, a trait which, when coupled with the region being one of the most advanced OTT markets in the world, means customers are there for the taking. And despite Scandinavia having an average of 2.4 SVoD services per SVoD household, Ampere’s research shows there is still room for more.
The market characteristics mean the region is a particularly attractive target for media players such as Disney+ which recently enjoyed a successful launch locally, as well as local players that are able to satisfy demand for original language content.
Demand for content from all over the world is reflected in the region’s OTT market, which is generally split evenly between local and international players in the Nordics. Local streamers have captured large audiences, with Viaplay being the largest local player in terms of subscriptions across all four Nordic countries in 2020. While Netflix is still the largest single SVoD player, securing 32 per cent of the Nordic OTT market by the first half of 2020, this is still lower than Netflix’s average market share in the rest of Western Europe.
This year, Disney+ has also successfully entered the fray, with 0.7 million subscribers by the end of 2020. With new player Paramount+ expected to be next to launch in the Nordics in the spring of 2021, competition is set to heat up. However, Ampere found that there is still room for additional services in Nordic households. In a scenario where all pay TV revenue is converted to OTT revenue, the average household would be able to subscribe to four services in Norway and Denmark, and three services in Sweden and Finland, and that’s before accounting for discounted streaming bundles and other aggregation strategies that could break through the streaming stack ceiling.
With the Nordics ahead of the curve in the shift towards OTT, it’s appealing ground for new service launches. Ampere believes the Nordics could be a region of interest for BritBox and other international players as they push ahead with ambitious international expansion strategies. BritBox’s classic English language content is well-suited to the local audience which rates British series highly. Ampere’s Consumer media and entertainment tracker in Q3 2020 found that 21 per cent of respondents in the Nordics watch British TV series very often, compared to 14 per cent across all markets. The Nordics also over-index for viewing American content, with 37 per cent of respondents watching US TV series very often, compared to an average of 31 per cent across all countries. While quality of local content still remains essential, this unusually high interest in British and US series means studio-led new entrants should find favour in the region.
“As a region where there is demand for both English language and local content, the Nordics is an attractive market for new international players to launch there, while allowing local players to co-exist,” advises Maria Dunleavey, Analyst at Ampere Analysis. “Our research has found Nordics households are not yet at SVoD capacity, but as new market entrants like Paramount+ edge closer to launch, the quality of content will prove key to capturing the interest – and wallets – of Nordic consumers.”