Newsletter May 16: Rapid OTT growth in the Nordics, locals gaining shares & the importance of “Original” content

16 May 2018

Online video streaming is breaking new records in the Nordics. According to Mediavision’s bi-annual report Nordic Video Insight, published this week, online video daily reach has grown by 9% year-on-year (YOY) during spring 2018. This corresponds to 8.6 million daily viewers in the ages 15-74 yrs. Both viewership and subscriptions soared higher than ever before. Interestingly, local actors are gaining on the American giants for the first time. This week we are taking a look at what’s driving the OTT growth.

Increasingly, OTT actors are using “Originals” for positioning and marketing of content that is new and exclusive to the service. In many cases, it means that the content was initially commissioned by the OTT actor, but not always. Branding content as “Original” has become a powerful tool for streaming services to drive subscriptions and viewership. Mediavision has found that about 36% of OTT viewers in the Nordics are familiar with the term. Also, “originals” are perceived to be of higher quality; especially among households that subscribe to Netflix.

Daily OTT viewers: Knowledge of expression “Originals”, spring 2018

Netflix in particular has ramped up its production of regionally produced content and recently premiered its first Nordic original “The Rain”. The Rain is set in a post-apocalyptic Scandinavia, portraying two siblings fighting for survival. So far, the series has received a lukewarm welcome, attaining an average IMDB rating of 6.2 almost a week since the season premiere, down from 6.4 the day after the premiere. For reference, Netflix series “Altered Carbon”, starring Joel Kinnaman, attained an IMDB rating of 8.7 the day after the premiere, which has since dropped to 8.2.

During 2017, Netflix premiered several other originals across Europe, including German series “Dark” and the Italian series “Suburra”. In April the streaming giant announced it’s going to escalate its content investments across Europe even further with plans to spend 1 billion USD this year. On a global scale, Netflix plans to invest around 8 billion USD in content during 2018. According to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings that figure might even be insufficient.

Despite this increased regional targeting from the likes of Netflix, local actors in Sweden upped their market share during Q1 2018, gaining on the American giants for the first time during Q1 2018. Netflix decreased its market share of subscribers from 53% to 45% during Q1, although still growing in absolute numbers. In terms of viewership, Discovery Networks grew the most, explained in part by the Pyeongchang Olympics during Q1. The combined viewership of Dplay and Eurosport Player more than doubled YOY. Across the Nordics, an indication of a decline in share of viewing for Netflix and Youtube can be seen, while Viaplay has strengthened its position YOY with approximately 10% of all viewing time.

Mediavision press releases:

Online video streaming grows rapidly in Sweden
Online video breaks new records in Sweden during the first quarter of 2018. Both viewership and subscriptions soar higher than ever before. Also, for the first time we see local actors gaining on the American giants Youtube and Netflix.

Industry news

UK Netflix viewing trends revealed
In the 16-25 age bracket, four in five UK Netflix subscribers say that Netflix Originals are important in keeping them as subscribers, according to Futuresource Consulting. Furthermore, 69% of UK consumers aged 16-25 use Netflix.

Tidal accused of manipulating listener figures
The music streaming service Tidal which is owned by Jay-Z is accused of manipulating Beyoncé and Kanye West’s listener figures. According to Norwegian newspaper Dagens Näringsliv, Tidal may have faked as many as 320 million plays across 1.7 million user accounts.

Nordisk Film invests further in gaming
Nordisk Film Games has made its fifth investment in the gaming sector, investing SEK160 million in Stockholm-based Star Stable Entertainment. Star Stable is an online horse game which has 14 million players in over 180 countries.

Amazon Prime Video tops growth in the UK
Amazon Prime Video is the fastest growing SVOD service in the UK, outpacing Netflix. During 2017, Amazon Prime Video increased its UK subscribers by 41%, summing up to 4.3 million with The Grand Tour and Transparent driving the growth.

MTG beats rivals – first to add online TRP
MTG Norway is the first actor to implement a new measurement of online viewers, making it possible to sell target groups in the traditional TV currency, known as TRP (Target Rating Point).

Mediavision in the news

Netflix share of Swedish SVoD market falls 8 percentage points year on year in Q1
Consultancy Mediavsion said that in the first quarter of 2018, Netflix’ share of the Swedish subscription market fell from 53 percent to 45 percent, although its number of viewers continued to rise.

Mediavision: Streaming i Sverige växer ordentligt
Nya rekord för webb-tv i Sverige konstateras under årets första kvartal, visar Mediavisions rapport. Såväl tittande som köp av betalda streamingtjänster når sina högsta nivåer hittills.

Streaming i Sverige växer så det knakar
Nya rekord för webb-TV i Sverige konstateras under årets första kvartal. Såväl tittande som köp av betalda streamingtjänster når sina högsta nivåer hittills. För första gången ser vi nu också att lokala tjänster har knaprat in på de amerikanska jättarna […].

Nytt rekord för streaming i Sverige
Nya rekord för webb-TV i Sverige konstateras under årets första kvartal. Såväl tittande som köp av betalda streamingtjänster når sina högsta nivåer hittills. För första gången ser Mediavision nu också att lokala tjänster har knaprat in på de amerikanska jättarna […].

Streaming tager til og udvikles lokalt
Svenskerne har en størrelse der hedder Mediavision. Og selv om at man skal tage det meste med et vist forbehold, tyder noget på at netop Mediavision er ved at tegne et endog særdeles klart billede af udviklingen på Stream området.

Cube satsar på e-sport – knyter sig till Heaton
E-sport är minst sagt ett område på frammarsch. Enligt en analys från Mediavision som kom i mars ökar engagemanget för e-sport, vilket bland annat märks av på att allt fler väljer att betala för innehållet. Nära var femte e-sport/gaming-tittare i Norden […].

Industry events

*Events where Mediavision will be presenting