E-sports event Dota 2 TI heads to Stockholm & Disney+ launch draws close

28 August 2019

This weekend one of e-sports most coveted events, Dota 2 The International (TI), concluded in Shanghai shattering both viewing and prize pool records. Moreover, Disney has gone into a higher gear as the launch of Disney+ draws closer. At its biannual D23 convention Disney announced a slew of high-profile content coming to its streaming service.

Valve’s premier Dota 2 event TI is the highest paying e-sports event so far, the partly crowdfunded prize pool this year exceeded $34 million. Team OG led by Danish captain Johan “N0tail” Sundstein stood victorious after facing off against Team Liquid in an all-European grand final. TI broke all previous Dota 2 viewing records with 1.97 million concurrent viewers (excluding Chinese platforms) watching the grand finals. However, despite TI amassing almost 2 million viewers, it’s still outnumbered by both the Fortnite World cup (2.3 million) and the League of Legends World Cup (2.1 million).

Major e-sports events such as TI have established themselves as powerhouses with the ability to amass huge audiences, and next year Stockholm has been chosen to host TI. Nordic consumers are keen on esports and gaming. The region has a commanding presence on the global scene with several successful teams and players across a multitude of games. During the fourth quarter of 2018 esports and gaming attracted 1.2 million online video viewers an average day across the Nordics.

Disney prepares its entrance on the streaming market

As the launch of its streaming service in November draws closer Disney has gone into a higher gear, dishing out one big-budget title after another. The star-studded digital remake of The Lion King has become Disney’s highest grossing film behind the Star Wars and Avengers films. Toy Story 4 which has yet to premiere globally is already performing very well too. Furthermore, at its annual D23 convention Disney revealed an official trailer showcasing the live action Star Wars series The Mandalorian set to premiere on Disney+ in November along with other projects such as Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk. Additionally, the upcoming launch of Apple’s streaming service Apple TV+ which is set to launch around the same time has further fueled the content craze.

Meanwhile, Netflix has reported its first ever net subscriber loss in the US. In its Q2 earnings Netflix reported a loss of roughly 130 000 US subscribers. Netflix has raised its subscription price on several markets recently, possibly accounting for the loss of subscribers. During Netflix fiscal Q2 reporting period the standard subscription price was raised from $10.99 to $12.99 per month in the US.

In its letter to shareholders, Netflix notes that the loss of subscribers likely doesn’t stem from increased competition; “We don’t believe competition was a factor since there wasn’t a material change in the competitive landscape during Q2 […]”. Instead, Netflix points to its content library; ”Rather, we think Q2’s content slate drove less growth in paid net adds than we anticipated.”

Mediavision blogs:

Who will win the Nordic streaming war?
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:

10 million streaming subscriptions in the Nordics
Streaming video continues to grow rapidly in the Nordics, Mediavision concludes in its recently published analysis on the Nordic TV and video market. An increasing number of consumers subscribe […].

Industry news:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a financing deal for €25 million with Swedish podcast company Acast. The funds will be used by Acast for R&D and to further its international expansion, Acast currently has a presence on ten markets.
US toy company Hasbro has acquired Entertainment One in a £3.3 billion deal. Entertainment One distributes TV shows such as The Walking Dead but the highlight of the deal is its children’s brands led by Peppa Pig.
Following several months of boycott, Bonnier and Storytel have come to an agreement. From September 1st and onwards Bonnier titles will be available on Storytel once more, the renewed deal runs for three years.
NENT Group has secured the Nordic rights to several top women’s football leagues. The deal includes FA Women’s Super League, Frauen-Bundesliga and Division 1 Féminine.
Netflix relies heavily on AI to select and recommend content to its users. Now it’s looking to potentially add a human touch by launching a limited scale test consisting of human-curated collections of movies and TV-shows.
The BBC is preparing to launch a rival to Amazon’s smart speaker Alexa called Beeb. BBC pledges that its voice assistant will understand British accents. Beeb has been developed by an in-house team and is set to launch next year.
Youtube TV now offers two more add-on channels to its subscribers. Under an expanded deal with AMC Networks Youtube TV users can now subscribe to the British service Acorn TV and UMC (Urban Movie Channel).
Amazon Prime Video has unveiled a distribution deal with the French telco Altice Europe, which owns leading French internet, mobile and cable-TV provider SFR. Amazon inked a similar deal with Tata Sky in India three months ago.

HBO’s first Norwegian original series Beforeigners which premiered on the service on August 21st is a major success. According to an HBO spokesperson the first two episodes are the most streamed ever on HBO Nordic in Norway.
HBO Max has been on a buying spree snatching up a number of high-profile original projects. Chief content officer Kevin Reilly tells Variety “HBO is more male-skewing, so [HBO Max] will be filling out with more female and younger viewers. That is the SVOD audience.”

Mediavision in the news:

När Fredrik Ljunggren började sitt nya jobb på Ehrlin publishing i september förra året hade han 14 år på Holmgrens bil i Jönköping bakom sig. Att den nya branschen fungerade […].

Industry events

  • IBC: Spetember 13 – 17, Amsterdam, Netherlands

*Events where Mediavision will be presenting