Media subscription spend continues to rise

8 May 2019

Consumers spend an increasing amount of money on media subscriptions and services each month. We’re currently seeing a development where subscription spend gradually gains in shares compared to costs for broadband and mobile access. Driven by high demand and a growing number of services, this development will likely continue.

As the digitalization relentlessly moves onward, consumers spend an increasing amount of money on subscription-based media services each month. This development has, for some time, exceeded the growth in spend for access services (eg broadband and mobile subscriptions). During 2018 the Swedish households spent on average SEK 1200 each month on media and access subscriptions combined. Media, including subscriptions to text, audio and video services, accounts for 36% of all subscription spend, after 5 years of consecutively faster growth vs access.

Average household media spend, subscriptions & access, Sweden, 15-74 y/o
The video segment (digital pay TV + SVOD), which has seen rapid and steady growth in the past years, continues to strengthen its position. Furthermore, several major actors are expected to enter the market in 2019. In the wake of video services, other forms of digital services such as audio and text subscriptions are seeing an upswing as well. Mediavision concludes that during the first quarter of 2019, 28% of Swedish households had at least one digital text subscription and 21% a digital audiobook subscription (15-74 y/o).

Yet another form of media which is picking up speed is podcasts; Egmont Publishing recently announced their entrance on the podcast market with a soon-to-be launched service called Talk Town. Egmont believes podcast listeners are susceptible to a paywall business model, something which other actors also are currently investigating. Also, music streaming giant Spotify has invested heavily in podcasts.

Mediavision expects digital media subscriptions and household spend to continue its upward trajectory during 2019. Meanwhile, there are external factors that may change the prospects. The market is volatile – since it’s entirely reliant on the households’ disposable income, subject to change by both macro and micro economic factors.

Mediavision blogs:

Competition on the Nordic streaming market is ramping up with several new services about to launch. Content investments are escalating and only partly offset by price increases. In the US, Netflix recently announced +13-18% on subscription fees.

Mediavision press releases:

The Swedish TV market broke a new record in turnover 2018, with the strongest growth in 8 years. The paid streaming segment (SVOD) marks the biggest increase, totaling almost SEK 4 billion […].

Industry news:

Egmont Publishing is making an entrance on the podcast market by launching a new podcast service called Talk Town. The service will initially contain more than 200 episodes which are available to consumers behind a paywall.
NENT Group has published its first earnings report since becoming an independent company following the split from MTG. NENT Group reported increased sales during the first quarter, sales revenue summed up to SEK 3.7 (3.4) billion.
Youtube has confirmed its premium content will be available for free as the company shifts its focus to an ad-supported business model for original content. Original productions such as Cobra Kai will be moved in front of the paywall.
Bonnier-owned SF Studios is acquiring a majority stake in the production company FLX. Under the new owner structure FLX will continue to operate as an independent company under its own brand.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is acquiring 21 regional sports networks from Disney in a $10.6 billion deal. Disney was forced to offload the regional sports networks by the Department of Justice due to antitrust concerns following its Fox acquisition.
35% of young Danes (18-34) say they could do without traditional news media edited and curated by journalists, according to the survey “Publicistisk Barometer 2019”. 35% also claim that social media in part, or entirely, could replace traditional news media.

Mediavision in the news:

Swedish consultancy Mediavision said its forthcoming first quarter analysis of the video market in Sweden will reveal that online and traditional viewing are now equal in terms of daily reach […].
Les régulateurs du monde entier encerclent Facebook. Après des années de demi-mesures, qui n’ont pas empêché les scandales à la chaîne, leur objectif numéro 1 est désormais […].

Industry events

*Events where Mediavision will be presenting