Newsletter 27th of April
27 April 2022
This week, we focus on these headlines:
- Spotify set for first earnings call of 2022
- HBO Max and Viaplay on a roll, adding more subscribers than Netflix has lost
- Britbox set to launch in the Nordics
- Highlights from Tele2 and Telia’s Q1 2022 reports
Spotify set for first earnings call of 2022
Today, before the US markets open (14.00 CET), Spotify is scheduled to publish its first quarter earnings. Netflix’s report last week has caused some concerns that churn of media subscriptions in general could increase if the household economy is weakened.
Last week, Bloomberg reported that the Obamas plan to leave Spotify to seek a podcast deal elsewhere. Higher Ground, the Obama’s production company, is seeking an agreement that will allow it to produce several shows and release them on multiple platforms at the same time – which contrasts Spotify’s focus on exclusivity for podcasts.
Last quarter, Spotify saw Monthly Active Users (MAUs) rise 18% year over year to end 2021 at 406 million. The company said in its outlook that it expects to add 12 million MAUs in the first three months of 2022 to end the first quarter with 418 million MAUs. Wall Street believes Spotify could struggle to reach its target and the consensus is that Spotify will acquire 11 million subscribers in the period. In the past 6 months, Spotify has lost more than half of its market valuation. It remains to be seen whether this report can turn the ship around.
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.
HBO Max and Viaplay on a roll, adding more subs than Netflix has lost
Yesterday, NENT Group – soon to be rebranded as Viaplay Group – reported its Q1 022 earnings. This earnings call was far more upbeat than last week’s Netflix report. Viaplay’s subscriber base grew by 52% and it now encompasses 4.8 million subscribers, which is partly explained by the launch in the Netherlands which surpassed expectations. Further, NENT reported a 10% organic sales growth YOY with reported sales of SEK 3.324 million.
In the report, CEO Anders Jensen said that NENT Group is raising the 2022 year-end Nordic subscriber target for Viaplay from 4.3 to 4.8 million. The year-end target of 2.2 million international (non-Nordic) Viaplay subscribers remains.
NENT Group also revealed plans to launch a completely new content concept, through partner platforms in selected markets – in a move to increase the pace of Viaplay’s international expansion. The new concept, called Viaplay Select, will initially offer up to 450 hours of curated premium content – with more added on a regular basis – to viewers in at least five territories new to the company during 2022, starting with Japan’s WOWOW in April. Viaplay Select will focus on markets where Viaplay is not currently prioritizing the launch of a direct-to-consumer service.
Allente also reported its Q1 2022 performance this week. Both the company’s subscriber base and revenues decreased during Q1 compared to the same period previous year. Net sales were down SEK 11 million to a total of SEK 1 680 million and operating profit amounted to SEK 148 million (SEK 121 million in Q1 2021). Allente’s subscriber base was to 1 047 million at the end of Q1 2022.
AT&T’s final report on Warner Media’s earnings revealed that the HBO and HBO Max streaming services added 3 million users to a total of 76.8 million in Q1 2022. While this was a far more positive result than Netflix’s, subscriber growth still did not match the +4.05 million expected ahead of the report. Total revenue grew +2.5% year over year to a total of USD 8.7 billion.
Also – in case you missed it: One of the first moves from new Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is to shut down CNN+ by April 30th – less than one month after launch. According to reports, the prior management team’s vision for CNN+ runs counter to David Zaslav’s plan to house all the company’s brands under one streaming service.
Britbox set to launch in the Nordics
On the 28th of April, BritBox is set to launch in the Nordics. BritBox is a joint venture between ITV and BBC – competitors in the world of broadcasting and partners in the world of streaming. The service that was first launched in 2017, is now available in 5 markets and recently surpassed 2.5 million subscribers (paying directly to BritBox, excluding B-SVOD subscribers). BritBox’s content offering includes titles such as ‘Peaky Blinders’, ‘The Office UK’ and ‘Vera’ among others, and the supply will be expanded with original productions as well.
Nordic consumers will also be able to consume more British media in the form of newspapers – Readly recently added 160 regional British newspapers to its supply.
Highlights from Tele2 and Telia’s Q1 2022 reports
- End-user service revenues of SEK 4.9 billion, up 3% compared to Q1 2021 (organic growth). Driven by strong performance in the Baltics, Sweden B2B and slight tailwind from roaming.
- Total revenues of SEK 6.7 billion, up 2% year over year (organic growth).
- Slight decrease in digital TV, mainly driven by -9% decrease in DTT sales vs Q1 2021.
- Compared to same period last year Tele2 lost 47′ RGUs in the Digital TV segment.
- Tele2 Sweden has entered a strategic distribution partnership with Viaplay.
- Net sales in Q1 2022 amounted to SEK 21.8 million and like for like, net sales grew by 2.1%.
- Adjusted EBITDA amounted to SEK 7.202 million in Q1 2022, which exceeds market expectations of SEK 7 040 million.
- Net sales for the TV & Media division amounted to SEK 2 031 million, an increase of 5% compared to the same period last year. The advertising operations grew by 11% in the quarter. Digital advertising grew by 26% and represents a third of the total growth. SVOD subscriptions to Cmore decreased from 764 000 to 741 000.
This analysis covers both the and TV- and streaming markets in the Nordic countries. It rests on three pillars: the consumers, the market, and the actors. Analysing the consumers takes us far – but not all the way. Studying the actors and the market as a whole is just as important.
Mediavision in the News
Spotifys börskurs i kollaps – SvD Näringsliv
Nents vd: ”Vi befinner oss i en annan fas än Netflix” – Dagens Industri
HBO Max er tilbage i dansk streamingtop efter relancering – Mediawatch
Tv-kritiker om Netflix tapp: Intryck att de testar idéer – Omni
35 procents aktieras för Netflix – jätten kovänder – Svenska Dagbladet
Netflix tappar – men växer i Sverige – Aftonbladet
Globalt tapp för streaming – så kan Telia och Nent drabbas – Dagens Industri
Connected TV World Summit: 24-25 May 2022, London, UK
NEM Dubrovnik: 6-9 June 2022, Dubrovnik, Croatia
MIPJunior: 15-16 October 2022, Cannes, France
MIPCOM: 17-20 October 2022, Cannes, France
* Mediavision will attend
** Mediavision will present