Newsletter 21st of October: Impact of Covid-19 with Mixed Effects for Video Actors


22 October 2020

This week we take a closer look at some of the video actors’ latest earnings reports. Following a second quarter heavily impacted by the pandemic, with strong subscriber growth for some and major advertising declines for others, we wonder what the outlook for the industry is now. What seem to be the long-term effects of the pandemic and what may have just been short-term “blips”?

This morning, NENT released its Q3 results. The Viaplay subscriber base was up 97 000 giving a total of 2,8 M subscribers in the Nordics. Growth is driven mainly by B2B partnerships, though the consumer market continues to play an important role. NENT expects further solid growth towards the end of this year, surpassing 3 M subscribers by 2020 and thereby cementing is role as second largest player on the Nordic streaming market. Expansion into the Baltics is planned for beginning of next year, as part of an ambition to enter 15+ markets in 5+ years. Advertising revenues were down -9% in Q3 and are expected to stay on that level throughout 2020. The market reacted negatively to NENTs report, possibly expecting higher subscriber growth after a positive announcement by the company earlier this fall.

Netflix released its results for the third quarter earlier this week. Following strong reports of massive subscriber growth during the pandemic earlier in 2020, the effects of quarantine now seem to have worn off. The number of paid subscribers grew by 2.2 million in Q3, hence falling short of the 3.3 million predicted by Wall Street analysts. This caused Netflix shares to fall 5% in the after-hours trading. The service added three times as many paid subscribers in Q3 2019 as it did in Q3 2020.

Another global major, Disney, reports positive streaming figures. Although Disney reported a 3.5 billion USD loss in operating revenue in its latest earnings report, mostly related to closed down theme parks, the stock rose 5% in extended trading following CEO Bob Chapek’s announcement of a new streaming service and strong performance of existing streaming platforms – boasting 100 million paid subscribers. Last week, news broke that Disney is accelerating its focus on direct-to-consumer strategy and streaming offerings even further, with a restructure centralizing its media businesses into a single organization that will be responsible for content distribution, ad sales and Disney+. As it seems, increased SVOD/direct-to-consumer focus will be a consistent trend also post Covid-19.

In the Nordics, Telia reports an increase of 54 000 SVOD-subscribers for Cmore (+10% QoQ), following decreasing numbers of subs in Q1 and Q2. The return of sports (after COVID-19 break) is mentioned as a driver of growth – once again proving the high value of sports rights in this market. Telia, in this case, holds the two top tiers in domestic ice hockey in Sweden. Following a Q2 report where the newly acquired TV & Media segment saw significant losses due to loss in advertising sales, the Q3 report offered some improved financial trends. Advertising revenue for TV & Media is still down but improving; -12% in Q3 compared to -31% in Q2.

In conclusion, the pandemic appears to have accelerated streaming growth – though temporarily for some. Mediavision reports diminishing growth rate for SVOD in terms of number of subscribing households and spend for Q3. However, the total number of subscriptions per household continues to increase, driven both by new entrants such as Disney+ and operator streaming services and partnerships. Disney+ attracted approximately 450 000 subscribers in the first two weeks after its release and almost all were existing SVOD households.

Industry News

Quibi to Discontinue Operations

After only six months on the market, Quibi announced on Wednesday that the company will be shut down. Hence, Quibi is looking to sell its content and technology assets. Launching during the pandemic is mentioned as a reason for the limited success.

Norwegian Vipps Becomes Mobile Operator

The Norwegian actor Vipps, most known for its quick payment service, will become a mobile operator. The solution launches this week and will offer consumers data without an expiration date, which according to Vipps is not a common practice for Norwegian operators.

Altibox Integrates Amazon Prime Video

Norwegian TV distributor Altibox has landed an agreement with Amazon, granting Altibox’s Danish customers access to the streaming service Amazon Prime Video via the company’s digital TV platform.

Sanoma Acquires Spanish Publisher

In a strategic move to become a leading educational publisher on the European market, Finnish Sanoma has acquired Spanish publisher Santillana in a deal worth 465 million EUR. The deal requires approval from the Spanish competition authority.

Telia & MTV to Launch New Product

In Finland, Telia in cooperation with MTV (owned by Telia) will launch the new product C More TV, marketed at a price of under 5 EUR per month to Telia-consumers and 10 EUR for others. The service will include some advertising.

Swedish Drama Scores at Canneseries

Swedish drama Partisan, featuring Johan Rheborg and Fares Fares, scored Best Series at the 2020 Canneseries, a screenings festival in connection to Mipcom. Partisan was produced by Warner Bros’ for NENT as a Viaplay Original series.

Huawei and ZTE Denied 5G-access

According to a press release from Swedish Post- och telestyrelsen, the operators approved for 5G-access are Hi3G Access (Tre), Net4Mobility (Tele2 and Telenor), Telia Sweden and Teracom, but they will not be allowed to use products from Huawei and ZTE.

Discovery Rebrands Dplay in the UK

Discovery will rebrand Dplay in the UK as Discovery+. The service will aggregate Discovery UK’s pay-TV and free-to-air brands, including Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet, as well as its free-to-air brands Quest, Really, Quest Red, HGTV, Food Network.

Amazon Acquires Additional NFL-rights

Reportedly, Amazon has bought the rights to stream one game from the Wildcard Weekend, also known as the NFL Playoff. According to CNN, Wildcard Weekend has over 30 MN viewers in the US. Since 2017, Amazon has had the rights to show Thursday games from the NFL.

ITV Restructures Broadcasting Business

The leading commercial broadcaster in the UK, ITV, will restructure its broadcast business in order to adhere to changing viewing habits. The company will establish a new media and entertainment division with two new business units – Broadcast and On-Demand.

Fox News Expands European Distribution

Fox News’ newly launched streaming service, currently available in 15 countries worldwide will expand to Denmark, Finland and Sweden among other countries, granting access to FOX News Channel and FOX Business Network programming through FOX News International.

AMC Entertainment to Open in NY State

12 theatres in New York state will resume to operations on October 23 in accordance with the governor’s new orders. The reopening of New York means that AMC will be operational in 44 of the 45 states where it has theatres. However, New York City is still banned from opening.

UK Parliament to Investigate Royalties

An inquiry into the fairness of streaming royalties has been launched by the British Parliament. For example, Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play are subject to investigation. According to the parliament, U.K., music streaming brings in more than £1 billion in revenue.

Apple Launches ‘Apple Music TV’

On Monday, Apple launched a 24-hour curated music video livestream named Apple Music TV, which will feature exclusive new videos and premiers, live shows and events etc. The livestream is so far only available in the US.

China World's Biggest Box Office in 2020

Following the pandemic, Chinese theatres have returned to strong earnings – causing China to overtake the title of world’s largest box office from USA. Sales in China for 2020 amounted to 1.988 billion USD on Sunday, surpassing North America’s total of 1.937 billion USD.

SiriusXM Completes Acquisition of Stitcher

In a 325 million USD deal, satellite radio actor SiriusXM has completed its acquisition of podcast platform Stitcher. Top Stitcher podcasts include SuperSoul Conversations from the Oprah Winfrey Network, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, Literally! with Rob Lowe and WTF with Marc Maron.

Amazon could broadcast Champions League

According to Italian press, Amazon is bidding for the Italian broadcasting rights to 17 games per season of Champions League. Sky, DAZN and Mediaset are also interested. Amazon already shows Champions League in the German market.

Peacock Top Performing US SVOD of Q3

New research from Kantar shows that, NBCU’s Peacock captured more than 17% of all new VOD subscriptions in the US in Q3. In comparison, HBO Max, launched several weeks before Peacock, captured 11% of the new subscribers.

DAZN Applies for Linear Licence in Germany

Sports streamer DAZN has applied to the Berlin-Brandenburg media authority (Mabb) seeking linear distribution for its channels in Germany. DAZN holds the majority of rights to the Bundesliga and 90% of the Champions League rights from the 2021-22 season.

Mediavision in the News

Swedish Q3 media spending stabilises after coronavirus surge in Q2

Swedish household spending on media services stabilised in the third quarter at around SEK 1,400 per month, after substantial coronavirus effects in Q2, according to consultancy Mediavision.

Swedish media spend returns to pre-Covid levels

The amount spent by Swedish households showed signs of stabilisation in the third quarter after the effects from the Coronavirus crisis in Q2.

Nytt rekord för streamingtjänster i Sverige

Under årets tredje kvartal uppmättes rekordsiffror för betalstreamingen i svenska hushåll och konkurrensen om vår skärmtid tätnar. När coronapandemin bromsat filmindustrin så satsar Hollywood hårdare på streamingkanaler.

Stability for Sweden as media spend approaches pre-pandemic levels

Household spend on media services and products in Sweden appear to be returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Analyse: Disney+ stormer frem i Sverige

Få uger efter lanceringen har den amerikanske streamingtjeneste Disney+ nået 450.000 abonnenter i Sverige, vurderer analyseinstituttet Mediavision i en undersøgelse

Disney+ breaks Nordic growth record

Disney+ has made an impressive start in the Nordic region with Mediavision confident a “substantial” number of households have already signed up. The consultancy estimates that just two weeks after launch 10% of Nordic households already hold a Disney+ subscription.

Disney+ reaches over 10% of Nordic households in first 2 weeks

Approximately 450,000 Swedish households are now paying for a subscription to Disney+, after the streaming service went live in Nordic countries on 15 September, according to consultancy Mediavision.

Disney+ already one of the Nordics’ top SVODs after two weeks

Disney+ has reportedly become one of the top streaming services in the Nordic region after just two weeks of availability.

Så många har Disney Plus i Sverige

Den 15 september lanserades Disney Plus i Sverige och på den nordiska marknaden. Sedan lanseringen uppskattar Mediavision att streamingjätten nu når över 10 procent av de nordiska hushållen.

Ny analys: Disney Plus går som tåget i Sverige – 450.000 hushåll prenumererar

Den nya streamingtjänsten Disney Plus har på knappt tre veckor nått 450 000 betalande hushåll i Sverige, enligt Mediavision. ”De har helt klart slagit sig in på rekordtid”, säger vd Marie Nilsson.

Många svenskar har blivit Disneykunder

450 000 svenskar har tecknat abonnemang på Disneys strömningstjänst Disney+, skriver analysföretaget Mediavision i ett pressmeddelande. Tjänsten lanserades i Sverige den 15 september.

Många svenskar har blivit Disneykunder

450 000 svenskar har tecknat abonnemang på Disneys strömningstjänst Disney+, skriver analysföretaget Mediavision i ett pressmeddelande. Tjänsten lanserades i Sverige den 15 september.

Många svenskar har blivit Disneykunder

450 000 svenskar har tecknat abonnemang på Disneys strömningstjänst Disney+, skriver analysföretaget Mediavision i ett pressmeddelande.

Industry Events

Medientage: 28-30 October 2020, Munich, Germany
American Film Market (AFM): 4-11 November 2020, Santa Monica, USA
NEM: 9-11 December 2020, Zagreb, Croatia
MWC Shanghai: 23-25 February 2021, Shanghai, China
MWC Barcelona: 28 June – 1 July 2021, Barcelona, Spain

*Mediavision will attend
**Mediavision will present