Newsletter 27th of October
20 October 2021
This week, it has been a lot of attention on the introduction of HBO Max in the Nordics and the service’s aggressive pricing at launch. HBO Max has a significantly lower price point than its predecessor – obviously to drive the influx of new subscribers. But the week has been eventful in several other areas as well:
- Q3 reports season continues
- Box office recovery accelerates
- Ecommerce next for streaming giants?
HBO Max launch in the Nordics
Yesterday, HBO Nordic was replaced by HBO Max in the Nordics and Mediavision analysis shows a boosted interest – read up on our insights ahead of the launch here.
Aside from the introductory offer of a one-year subscription for EUR 69.99, eligible for both new and current subscribers, HBO Max promoted an offer of 50% off the monthly price (currently EUR 4.50, which may be adjusted if the list price increases) for new customers at the day of launch. This offer is valid for subscribers for as long as they keep an active subscription to the service.
In it’s Q3 report last week, HBO owner AT&T disclosed a loss of HBO and HBO Max subscribers in the US. The services finished the third quarter with 45.2 million US subscribers, down 1.8 million from the 47 million recorded as of the end of the second quarter. The loss in subscribers was accredited to AT&T’s strategic decision to remove the HBO subscription from Amazon Prime Channels. However, the number of subscribers grew by 1.9 million globally, offsetting the losses related to the Amazon decision. What impact the Nordic launch of HBO Max will have on total uptake remains to be seen – we will keep you in the loop.
|Amazon Prime Video and Allente enter distribution agreement
The IATSE’s strike-averting deal may improve pay on streaming
Discovery said to cut back on ‘high-profile projects’
YouTube rolls out personalized ‘New to you’ feed
Succession S3 premiere drew 1.4 m viewers – S4 offically ordered
Viaplay to be hayu’s first platform partner in Poland and Baltic
Reports season continues
Let us dive right back into the flood of Q3 reports (refer to our first story for details on AT&T):
– Third quarter revenue amounted to SEK 1 702 million, a decrease of SEK 46 compared to the same period in 2020
– Total number of subscribers decreased by 21 000 compared to Q2 2021, and 85 000 compared to Q3 2020
– NENT Group was provided a dividend of SEK 125 million
– Net sales increased to a total of SEK 428.4 million, compared to 426.8 million for the same period in 2020
– Profits increased even further, to SEK 15.9 million in Q3 (+79% YOY). However, results for the full year of 2021 is still negative (SEK -25.2 million)
– Subscriber figures for Bokus Play are not disclosed in the report
– Third quarter revenue increased +35% from last year
– 3.58 billion people worldwide use Facebook’s apps, an increase +12% from the year prior
– The Facebook stock traded nearly +2% in afterhours, following positive figures on ad sales and usage despite Facebook being in focus in the press over several different issues these past weeks
– Mark Zuckerberg also communicated that the company will focus on “retooling” its products over the next 5 years in an effort to refocus on young adults, rather than optimizing products for older targets
– Viaplay paying subscribers increased +28% in Q3 2021 compared to the same period last year, to a total of 3.6 million
– Hence, 322 000 subscribers were added in Q3 compared to Q2 2021, of which 36 000 were Nordic subscribers and 286 000 were international subscribers
– Organic sales grew by 10% YOY with reported sales of SEK 3.054 million
– Total streamed minutes on Viaplay of original content increased by 38% YOY
– Viaplay to launch in the US in December, followed by the Netherlands in Q1 2022
– Net sales decreased -1.2% to SEK 21.3 million (like for like¹, net sales increased 3.8%)
– Adjusted EBITDA declined -4.9% to SEK 7.8 million (like for like, adjusted EBITDA declined 1.9%)
– Revenues from the TV & Media segment rose by 15% YOY to a total of SEK 1.9 billion
– The company reported an increase of 40% for sports-related subscriptions during Q3, partly contributed to Champions League being added to the portfolio
– Consumption on advertising supported platforms (TV4 Play and MTV) increased by 58% in Sweden and 22% in Finland YOY
¹ Like for like excludes exchange rate effects and is based on the current group structure, i.e. including the impact of any acquired companies and excluding the impact of any disposed companies, both in the current and in the comparable period.
Mediavision’s Insikt: Ljudmarknad gives an in-depth understanding of the entire audio market; audiobooks, music, podcasts and radio. The analysis focuses on the digital transformation of both listening and consumer payments, on both aggregated and actor specific levels.
Box office recovery accelerates while Nordic Oscar nominations are announced
After a strong slate in October (including China’s The Battle for Lake Changjin and Hollywood blockbusters No Time to Die and Venom: Let There Be Carnage), recovery for global box office has accelerated further. Analytics firm Gower Street has revised its forecast for 2021 worldwide box office revenue from USD 20.2 billion to USD 21.6 billion. That would mean an increase of 80% compared to 2020, but still falling 49% below 2019 results.
In other movie related news, Disney has decided to shake up its movie release calendar due to a “production-related snowball effect”. The changes affect the slate for 2022 and beyond, and will in turn effect the releases on Disney Plus. All Marvel Universe movies for 2022 have been pushed forward, including Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Hence, Disney will only release three Marvel movies next year as opposed to the four originally planned.
In the Nordics, the countries’ picks for Oscar candidates have been presented:
Major streaming actors venture into e-commerce
Spotify has announced a new partnership with e-commerce platform Shopify as part of its focus on “developing new tools and resources to help artists turn listeners into fans, fans into superfans, and, ultimately, earn more”. The collaboration with Shopify entails a new integration that allows artists to sell merchandise via their profiles on Spotify. This follows the launch of virtual event listing, tipping and Fan First email tools.
Earlier this year, YouTube announced that it would begin pilot testing livestream shopping with selected creators. Now, the time has come for an expansion on this. Starting November 15th, YouTube plans to host a weeklong live shopping event which allows viewers to shop products, access time limited offers and engage with creators and other viewers via Q&A’s. A YouTube study recently revealed that 75% of viewers used YouTube for shopping inspiration and that 85% of viewers trust creators’ recommendations.
Recently, Netflix has also disclosed a number of ventures into e-commerce, including the launch of its own e-commerce store back in June and the partnership with Walmart for e.g., Squid Game merch 2 weeks ago.
This analysis provides an in-depth analysis of consumer interest, willingness to pay and pay rate. It covers +90 specific sports rights in the Nordics and offers a comprehensive insight on how the consumers value sports rights. It is also compares sports rights in the different Nordic countries.
Mediavision in the News
One of the most powerful competitive tools for video streaming services is content exclusivity. Sports rights are by far one of the most attractive content genres in this regard. However, audiobook streaming services rarely apply this tactic. Could exclusive content be a competitive tool also for the audio book actors going forward? – Boktugg
Mediavision: HBO Max to benefit in Nordic region from lower price, extra stream and fictional slant – Telecom Paper
Så många betalar för premiumsport – Journalisten
Over halvdelen af danske husstande betaler for at se sport – MediaWatch
Mediavision: Hushåll med sportabonnemang driver intäkterna – Dagens Media
Cannes Series: 9-14 October 2021, Cannes, France
TV-Dagen: 11 November, Stockholm, Sweden**
MIPCOM: 11-14 October, Cannes, France
Bergen International Film Festival: 20-29 October 2021, Bergen, Norway
SportsPro OTT Summit: 15-18 November 2021, London, UK
IBC: 3-6 December 2021, Amsterdam, Netherlands
CTAM Europe Executive Management Programme: 20-25 March 2023, Fontainebleau, France
* Mediavision will attend
** Mediavision will present