Newsletter 16th of September: Nordic Market Leader Spotify Opposes Competitor Apple’s New Move


16 September 2020

Media consumption during the second quarter of 2020 reflects life during the pandemic; more time at home and increased spend on digital media. According to Mediavision’s newly published analysis Media & Markets, Spotify stands out as the most popular service. The company invests heavily in innovation projects. This week, rival Apple’s new move in bundling causes Spotify to call for attention from the competition authorities.

The second quarter of 2020 is likely a “new” tipping point for digital media. In Sweden, as elsewhere, the restrictions led us to stay home, in turn spurring a strong growth in digital media consumption. “Stacking”, i.e. the number of services a household subscribes to, increased to 2,5 – an increase of +11%. Growth is mainly driven by SVOD (also resulting in record levels for online video reach – Mediavision press release), but the single most popular service is Spotify – however showing no significant subscriber growth in Sweden. Why? Because the audio market in the homeland of Spotify is now fully digital and mature.

Mediavision has earlier reported on Spotify’s strategic initiatives to attain a leading position on the podcast market. But the efforts go further. In August, Spotify announced a partnership with Riot Games (publisher of the popular League of Legends), as an official audio streaming partner for global esports events. On Monday, the company revealed a partnership with IKEA regarding personified playlists related to consumers everyday living at home. In addition, rumours claim that Spotify is working both on its own hardware and on new features such as karaoke and livestreaming of music events.

Spotify seems to be moving with full force. But the company does not lack competition, with one major rival being Apple. This week, at its annual hardware event, Apple announced the new bundling service Apple One – available in three plans. The Individual plan, at $14.95, includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud. The Family plan is priced at $19.95 with the same basic bundle and an additional 150 GB of iCloud Storage. Lastly, the Premier plan at $29.95 entails access to the same basic bundle in addition to Apple News+ and new service Apple Fitness+, along with 2 TB of iCloud storage.

The bundling of services with a highly competitive price setting has stirred controversy in the industry. Spotify instantly reacted to the news, accusing Apple of utilizing its dominating position and unjust methods to engage in anti-competitive behaviour. Although Spotify holds a strong market share in the US regarding music services, the most recent reports (end of 2019) of MUA’s (monthly active users) from Apple and Spotify show that Apple Music had 2 million more paying US subscribers than Spotify.

Focusing on the Nordic market, Spotify holds a solid position as market leader among music streaming services. In Spotify’s home market Sweden, Mediavision figures show that approximately 1,8 million Swedish households subscribed to the service in Q2 2020. This represents a market share of approximately 80%. Mediavision analysis also concludes that Spotify holds a dominant position in Denmark, Finland and Norway. Apple Music, on the other hand, reach less than 5% of Nordic homes via its Music service and about the same for it’s video streaming service Apple TV+, which is part of the Apple One bundles.

So, although the Nordic music streaming market have approached maturity, the industry in its whole still presents interesting twists and turns – Mediavision follows the developments with great interest.

Industry News

Yousee to Launch New Digital TV-Offering

On September 22nd, Denmark’s largest TV-distributor Yousee will launch a new digital TV-offering called Youtv. Access to the service only requires an internet connection and the Youtv-application, being detached from Yousee’s traditional cable distribution.

Telia Norge Terminates the Get Brand

Two years post Telia’s acquisition of Norwegian cable-TV operator and internet service provider Get, the Get brand will be terminated. Services will now be provided under the Telia brand. Get holds approx. 500 000 consumers today.

Bytedance to Form New US Company

In order to comply with the US Presidents demands regarding TikTok ownership in the US, Bytedance has reportedly decided to put TikTok’s global business in a new US company with US company Oracle investing as a minority shareholder.

Polaris Media to Launch New Digital Paper

Norwegian media concern Polaris is set to launch an exclusively digital newspaper focused on local journalism in Steinkjer – a response to competitor Amedia’s acquisition of the Trønder-Avisa earlier this year.

AMC Launches Channels on IMDBtv

The US network AMC will place six new channels on the free, ad-supported tier of Amazon-owned IMDBtv. This move is part of a larger programming push by Amazon for IMDBtv, launched in 2019.

Norwegian DN Joins NCE Media

Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv has joined forces with innovation cluster NCE Media as part of its strategy towards innovating its organization, in regard to journalism, commerciality as well as technology.

TikTok to Host Digital Fashion Event

In a move to take on Instagram’s strong position as supplier of fashion content online, TikTok announced that the platform will host a one-month fashion event. Heavy brands such as Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent will feature.

ViacomCBS to Sell CNET

Red Ventures will acquire ViacomCBS’s CNET unit in a USD 500 million deal. Since the recombination of CBS and Viacom, the company has sold several non-core assets to reduce debt and increase financial strength.

YouTube Launches TikTok Rival in India

On Monday, YouTube launched the new feature YouTube Shorts, offering short-form video experiences closely resembling the content of TikTok. The videos can also be accompanied by music from YouTube’s extensive library.

Facebook Introduces Co-Viewing Feature

A new feature, allowing friends and family to watch videos together, has been introduced to Facebook Messenger. The feature has been in development for 2 years, hence not being a response to the current pandemic.

Paramount Relaunches Streaming Service

Paramount Plus has been available in the Nordics since 2017, as part of cable-TV packages. In the spring of 2021, the service will be relaunched as a stand-alone service with a significant increase in available content.

Bonnier News and Aller Media Leaves Readly

Ahead of Readly’s stock market listing on September 17th, two of the most prominent content providers on the Swedish market – Bonnier News and Aller Media have terminated its contracts with the service.

Mediavision in the News

Halv miljon har digital dagstidning

De digitala tidningsprenumerationerna ökar kraftigt. Men intäkterna ökar mindre – många är gratis när tidningarna gör allt för att locka till sig läsare.

TV4 fyller 30 år – och tvingas kämpa för livet

Sveriges största tv-kanal – men en lilleputt på ­efterkälken i det digitala streamingracet. När TV4 fyller 30 år finns det skäl att både fira framgången och frukta framtiden.

Swedish online video hits new highs in Q2

The number of people that view streamed content on an average day in Sweden has never been higher and has a reached a point, says research firm Mediavision, where the country can be categorised as having entered a completely digital TV-market.

Över 500 000 hushåll prenumererar på dagstidning

Över en halv miljon, närmare bestämt 540 000, svenska hushåll prenumererar digitalt på en dagstidning, rapporterar TT och hänvisar till en analys av Mediavision.

Daily press digital subscriptions up 40%

According to a Mediavision analysis of the Swedish market for daily press, consumer behaviour has changed radically in the past year. 540 000 households now subscribe to a digital daily newspaper, which is 160 000 – or 40 per cent – more than 12 months ago.

Disney tar plats i kampen om tv-tittarna

Konkurrensen om tv-tittarnas tid och pengar är redan stenhård. Och nu kommer storspelaren Disney plus. – Det mesta talar för att de kommer att ha en stor inverkan på den nordiska mediemarknaden,
säger Marie Nilsson, vd för analysföretaget Mediavision.

Tv-striden hårdnar – nu kommer Disney till Sverige

På tisdag kommer Disney+ till Sverige. Med den omskrivna streamingtjänsten följer en enorm katalog av filmer, men lanseringen har också kantats av kritik och kontroverser.

Sverige strömmar tv som aldrig förr

Coronautbrottet har fått svenskarna att titta på strömmad tv mer än någonsin tidigare. Under årets andra kvartal strömmade 66 procent av landets 15–74-åringar tv varje dag, visar nya siffror från analysföretaget Mediavision.

Sverige strömmar tv som aldrig förr

Coronautbrottet har fått svenskarna att titta på strömmad tv mer än någonsin tidigare. Under årets andra kvartal strömmade 66 procent av landets 15–74-åringar tv varje dag, visar nya siffror från analysföretaget Mediavision.

Swedish video streaming reaches new record

The streaming of online video sites in Sweden rose to a new record in the second quarter. Stockholm-based consultancy Mediavision says that during the quarter almost 70% of all 15-74-year-olds consumed streamed video content daily.

Sweden sets record for streaming in ‘completely digital TV market’

According to Mediavision, the number of people watching video streaming services in the country was at an all-time high with 66% of all people aged 15-74 consuming streaming content daily.

Sweden sees new streaming records

Streaming in Sweden rose to new record levels in the second quarter. Daily reach, i.e. the number of people that view streamed content an average day, has never been higher, reports Mediavision.