Newsletter 19th of January
19 January 2022
Catching up on the latest developments in the media industry, these are the main headlines of this week’s newsletter:
- Fame is fortune in podcasting
- Cinema rebound – or has the market changed irrevocably?
- Updates ahead of Netflix’s Q4 earnings report
Fame is fortune
Podcasting seems to have a hard time producing new hits in the US, according to an analysis conducted by Edison Research. None of the ten most popular podcasts in the US last year were “new” (released in recent years) – and the “average” podcast in the top ten is more than seven years old. Further, three out of the top five are even more than a decade old (The Joe Rogan Experience, This American Life and Stuff You Should Know).
In the Nordics, the situation is more positive. For example, data from the Norwegian and Swedish Industry Associations for podcasts shows that 70% and 30% respectively of the ten most popular podcasts in week 1 of 2022 were launched during 2021.
This may be explained by a common trend that popular podcasts are either hosted by already established profiles or that the format is known and appreciated by the audience, e.g., popular radio shows that have been given a new form of distribution via on demand. The latter is especially common for public service. For example, all newly entered top ten titles in Norway (week 1, 2022) were produced by NRK – a sign of public service’s strong position on the podcast arena in the Nordics.
This week, two new podcasts with popular, famous hosts were presented – Mikkel Niva and Herman Flesvig in Norway and Mia Skäringer and Hampus Nessvold in Sweden. Both will be available through PodMe, a premium podcast platform owned by Schibsted.
Would this possibly boost subscriptions to PodMe? As of fall 2021, 4% of the Nordic households (15-74-year-olds) possessed a podcast subscription, whereas PodMe holds a ~30% Nordic market share. Note that PodMe is not yet available in Denmark – this market share is attained through availability in only three markets (Finland, Norway and Sweden).
Mediavision’s Insight: Nordic Media & Markets tracks the progress of individual and household payments per service and actor, as well as overall media expenditures. The primary focus is mapping out the allocation of expenditures across audio, video, text, and access. Published bianually.
Cinema set to rebound – or has the market changed irrevocably?
Last Sunday, cinemas reopened in Denmark (again). Despite uncertainty regarding the extent of covid-restrictions going forward, cinema in the EMEA-region is expected to grow substantially in 2022 compared to 2021. Euro Cinema Group predicts that box office will show 75% growth YOY across the EMEA-region in 2022.
At the end of 2021 (before restrictions were imposed yet again over the holidays), Mediavision concluded that Nordic households had resumed to purchasing cinema tickets in the fall of 2021 – but not to the same extent as before the pandemic.
Going forward, a majority (53%) of media industry stakeholders across the Nordic region believe that cinema will rebound to pre-pandemic levels towards 2025, but that structural changes will hold back further growth. This was discovered in Mediavision’s annual Industry Outlook where industry stakeholders were asked to share their views of the future development of the media industry. 34% of the respondents believe that cinema will not recover to pre-pandemic levels, due to irrevocable changes in the market structure while 13% believe that cinema will bounce back and stand stronger than before the pandemic.
The pandemic has affected cinema in multiple ways, one is theatrical windowing and premieres on streaming as opposed to in theatres. One such example is the premiere of Hotel Transylvania 4 on Amazon Prime Video last week. In August 2021, news broke that Amazon had closed a deal worth USD 100 million with Sony Pictures Animation for the Hotel Transylvania franchise streaming on Amazon Prime, instead of theatres. The first three films of the Hotel Transylvania franchise grossed more than USD 1.3 billion for Sony, and the surge in covid cases early this autumn pushed Sony to seek alternative release options for the fourth installation.
The 2022 edition of Mediavision Industry Outlook will be published soon and available for free upon request – we’ll notify you!
Netflix updates pre Q4 2021 earnings report
This Thursday, January 20th, Netflix will report its Q4 2021 earnings after market closure. To prepare for the report, catch up on recent news from the streaming behemoth:
- Ahead of the earnings report, Netflix forecasts 8.5 million additional subscribers, which would be in line with the same period of 2020. There will be several metrics for investors to keep tabs on when Netflix reports – one of the most important being the company’s guidance for subscriber growth in Q1. This is said to be particularly telling given that the company…
- Raised prices for its streaming service in the US and Canada on Friday last week. The monthly cost for the basic plan increased USD 1 to USD 9.99, the standard plan jumped from USD 13.99 to USD 15.49, and the premium plan rose from USD 17.99 to USD 19.99. The price changes take effect immediately for new users, and existing customers will see the new prices in the coming weeks. This announcement sent Netflix’s stock up on Friday – ultimately it rose 1.25% to close at USD 525.69 on Friday.
- The Power of the Dog won its 21st best picture award at North Dakota Film Critics. Hence, Netflix has surpassed its best awards season record, set by the 20 best picture awards won by Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma in 2018.
- Netflix has announced two new documentary series focused on sports; one set inside the PGA TOUR and golf’s major championships, the other will follow professional tennis players throughout four Grand Slam tournaments. Both series are to be produced by Box to Box Films, producer of Formula 1: Drive to Survive – one of Netflix’s major successes in 2021.In parallel, Apple is reported to have paid USD 225 million for a Formula 1 movie starring Brad Pitt – according to industry analysts to keep it out of Netflix’s hands.
Mediavision in the News
Her er er de nye strømmevinnerne – Kampanje
HBO enjoys major growth in the Nordics and adds over 635,000 subscribing households following Max launch – Cineuropa
HBO adds +635 000 subscribing households following Max launch – Helsinki Times
HBO Max bounceback adds 635,000 Nordic subs – Broadband TV News
HBO Max attracts 635,000 subscribers in Nordic region since launch – Telecompaper
HBO bounces back in Nordics with Max launch – Digital TV Europe
Nya siffror från Mediavision: Så många prenumeranter har HBO Max – Dagens Media
TV Drama Vision – Göteborg Film Festival: 2-3 February 2022, Gothenburg, Sweden
Berlin Film Festival and European Film Market: 10-20 February 2022, Berlin, Germany
CTAM Europe Executive Management Programme: 20-25 March 2022, Fontainebleau, France
MIPTV: 4-6 April 2022, Cannes, France
NEM Dubrovnik: 6-9 June 2022, Dubrovnik, Croatia
* Mediavision will attend
** Mediavision will present