Newsletter 4th of September: SVT scores big at Kristallen & popular titles drive growth for SVOD services



4 September 2019

This week Mediavision’s quarterly analysis of the Swedish video and TV market is published and we delve into the importance of strong titles. HBO Nordic has had an exceptionally strong quarter with several high-profile titles returning with new seasons. SVT had a strong showing at the annual awards gala Kristallen where Netflix’s first Swedish original series was awarded TV-drama of the year.

Content is becoming increasingly important in the hardening battle for subscribers on the video streaming market. At the Swedish awards gala Kristallen, which recently took place in Stockholm, public service broadcaster SVT scored six awards followed by TV4, Discovery and Netflix which won two awards with its first Swedish original series Quicksand.

Number of Awards Per Actor at Kristallen 2019

Both streaming giants as well as local actors are investing in locally produced titles. Netflix has seen success with several of its locally produced titles such as 3% , Dark, and Quicksand as mentioned above. Moreover, HBO recently premiered its first Norwegian original Beforeigners and local players Viaplay and C More are also investing heavily in locally produced fiction to claw back market shares with titles such as Den inre cirkelnHeder and Fartblinda.

In terms of high-profile content HBO has had an impressive year so far, perhaps most notably the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones. Furthermore, Big Little Lies and The Handmaid’s Tale made their return to the service along with the major success Chernobyl. The slew of big titles premiering on the service during Q2 is reflected in a high uptake of subscribers in Sweden as revealed in Mediavision’s quarterly analysis of the Swedish TV and video market.

Looking forward, the importance of content will likely increase even further as several giants are about to launch their services on the already crowded market. Different actors are employing various approaches in attracting subscribers; Apple is signing big names such as Oprah and Steven Spielberg and Disney is relying on its already established brands such as Star Wars. Netflix, which has thus far competed primarily with sheer volume of original productions, is taking another approach and might be narrowing their scope. Over the last couple of years, the service canceled several original series and instead focused investments towards tying acclaimed creators to the brand. For example, Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B Weiss recently signed with Netflix in a $200 million deal.

Mediavision blogs:

Who will win the Nordic streaming war?
Competition on the Nordic streaming market is ramping up with several new services about to launch. Content investments are escalating and only partly offset by price increases. In the US, Netflix recently announced +13-18% on subscription fees.

Mediavision press releases:

Popular titles of great importance to SVOD services
Streaming services have become very popular in Sweden. Naturally, one of the reasons is the vast supply on offer. But its not just a question of volume.

Industry news:

In a press release, the Swedish government states that the media support will be increased by 140 million SEK in 2020. The enlarged support will mainly be invested towards ensuring the public´s access to independent, comprehensive journalism.
Fifteen years post the first launch, Activision Blizzard is relaunching the original version of World of Warcraft, naming it World of Warcraft Classic. The announcement was received well by investors, resulting in a 7 % increase of the stock value during the last week.
Viaplay´s new original series “Heder”, featuring profiles such as Alexandra Rappaport and Julia Dufvenius, will be extended by a podcast connected to each episode. The podcast is considered a tool to build an ecosystem around the format, according to NENT Group.
The next step in Spotify´s pursuit towards establishing themselves as a significant player in the podcast industry has been revealed. Users will soon be able to record podcasts directly through Spotify´s own application.
In an attempt to increase the retention rate of their audience, YouTube has decided to withdraw the use of paywalls and instead resume to providing content free of charge, earning revenue from advertisements.
By entering a partnership agreement amounting to a total value of $30 million, Modern Times Group has acquired both primary and secondary shares in Chinese game live streaming platform HUYA, the leading actor on the Chinese esports market today.
In a press release, NENT reveals that subscribers of Viaplay will shortly be able to view content from Danish linear TV-channels DR, TV2 and TV3. Subscribers gain access to at most 18 live-channels and the content may be streamed for 48- hours post broadcasting.
In an effort to attain a larger share of the European market and drive sales of their Amazon Prime Video service, Amazon plans to launch their Fire TV-offering in several additional markets across Europe.
Following the success of “Quicksand”, Netflix has ordered another series from Sweden´s leading production company FLX. The romantic dramedy, named Love & Anarchy, will revolve around a career driven woman named Sofie and explore questions of the modern day life.
In their semi-annual report, Danish TV2 disclosed an increase of total revenue by 4,8 % during the first six months of 2019. The segments of advertisements and subscriptions accounted for the major increase, most growth identified within the latter, amounting to nearly 6 %.

Mediavision in the news:

När Fredrik Ljunggren började sitt nya jobb på Ehrlin publishing i september förra året hade han 14 år på Holmgrens bil i Jönköping bakom sig. Att den nya branschen fungerade […].

Industry events

  • IBC: Spetember 13 – 17, Amsterdam, Netherlands

*Events where Mediavision will be presenting