Newsletter August 29: E-sports, gambling & more

29 August 2018

In this week’s letter we delve into the Nordic e-sports market and the rise of streaming services. Also, farther down the line, the re-regulation of the Swedish gambling market is drawing closer. Additionally, Mediavision will be presenting at both Dreamhack Masters in Stockholm and Copenhagen TV Festival this week, see you there!

E-sports and gaming viewership has shown explosive growth in the Nordics over the past couple of years. Mediavision’s analysis Nordic e-sports & gaming insight which was published this spring, reveals that 650,000 viewers watch e-sports and gaming content an average day in the Nordic region. Furthermore, e-sports and gaming consumers show a high engagement and willingness to pay for content.

As it stands, Google’s Youtube and Amazon’s Twitch are the clear frontrunning actors in terms of distribution, raking in a vast majority of viewers. For instance, more than 80% of Nordic monthly e-sports and gaming viewers watched via Youtube, while around 50% watched via Twitch. Though efforts have been made, no other actor has yet managed to truly challenge Youtube and Twitch in this space. But things may be changing. Facebook has been in the news regarding advancements in the area throughout the past year. As late as June, Facebook made an effort to take a piece of the pie by launching its Twitch contender Facebook Gaming. The service offers several features reminiscent of Twitch, such as a tipping currency. Another example of other actors entering the fray is Twitter’s deal with Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League for match highlights and a weekly show on the service.

This weekend (on September 1st) Mediavision will be presenting insights on the Nordic e-sports & gaming market at the Dreamhack TEO Networking Lounge at the Dreamhack Masters event in Ericsson Globe.

Mediavision at the Copenhagen TV Festival
Today, the Copenhagen TV Festival kicks off and Mediavision CEO Marie Nilsson is one of the keynote speakers. The digital transformation of the Nordic video market is in full swing and competition is intensifying. Household penetration of SVOD (subscription video on-demand) services is closing in on 50 percent (15-74 y/o) in the Nordics. Sweden and Norway are already on the verge of passing the halfway mark. Mediavision predicts both Sweden and Norway to soar past 50 percent by the end of 2018.

Swedish Gambling Insight
The latest edition of Mediavision’s analysis of the Swedish gambling market is to be published next week. The Swedish gambling market as we know it is about to change dramatically. A re-regulation of the market and the introduction of a licensing system is set to take effect on January 1st, 2019. With more than half of all Swedes (+18) gambling on a monthly basis and 13% via non-SE regulated operators, many will be affected. Following both the Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup, sports betting has continued to gain in popularity, engaging 12 percent of the population (18+) during H1 2018. Furthermore, off-shore regulated actors continues to gain ground with the re-regulation drawing closer. Read more about the analysis here.

Mediavision blogs:

Summer TV viewing and the FIFA WC
As many of us are now returning to work after a splendid summer, we’re taking a quick glance at the development of the 2018 traditional TV viewing so far. It’s of course with a special focus on summer ratings, particularly since Sweden this year outperformed all expectations and made it to the quarter finals in 2018 FIFA World cup in July.

Mediavision press releases:

World Cup and re-regulation increases competition on the Swedish gambling market
Competition between off-shore regulated and Swedish gambling companies have increased significantly as a re-regulation of the Swedish gambling market draws closer. With a new licensing system being introduced in January 2019, several off-shore […].

Industry news:

Twitter signs dal with Overwatch League
Twitter has signed a multi-year content distribution deal with Overwatch League. The deal includes highlight distribution during matches and weekly preview show streamed on the Overwatch Leagye Twitter feed.

69% of US households use SVOD service
According to a study conducted by Leichtman Research Group 69% of US households subscribe to a SVOD service. Furthermore, out of those that subscribe to streaming service, 63% subscribe to more than one.

ESL & UMG to launch joint record label
ESL and Universal Music Group Europe embarks on a multi-year partnership to promote music acts to e-sports fans through a joint record label. Signed artists music will be integrated into ESL’s broadcasts and live events during tournaments.

Huawei soars past Apple in smartphone sales
Global smartphone sales rose by 2 percent during Q2, reaching 374 million units. Chinese manufacturer Huawei soared past Apple taking the second place behind Samsung. Huawei upped sales by 38,6 percent during Q2.

Youtube launched digital wellbeing tools
Youtube has begun rolling out its so-called digital wellbeing tools which are designed to remind users to take breaks. The tools include a dashboard which tells users how much time has been spent on the platform and reminders among other things.

Mediavision in the news

Swedish traditional viewing down 6% in H1, down 15% among young adults
Swedish consultancy Mediavision said that in the first six months of 2018, traditional TV ratings in Sweden have been on a continuous downward trend, even in comparison with the rather uneventful year of 2017.

Industry events

*Events where Mediavision will be presenting