Newsletter 25th of August: HBO Max – the Perfect Match to the Nordic Discovery?


25 August 2021

The global SVOD market is undergoing heavy market consolidation – with strong impact also in the Nordics. HBO Nordic is one of the services in the very centre of attention with both the launch of HBO Max in 2022, and the upcoming merger of Warner and Discovery.

HBO Nordic launched as a Nordic SVOD service in late 2012, with HBO content specifically selected to appeal to Nordic consumers. Following initial challenges with e.g. technical issues, HBO Nordic proved to be a success and grew fast. With mega hits like Game of Thrones, True Detective and Westworld HBO Nordic has become a strong brand name and is one of the major players in this region. However, growth has slowed down significantly and since autumn 2020, development has been weak with negative customer growth in the Nordics (as per a YOY comparison).

In May this year, news broke that HBO’s owner AT&T were to merge its WarnerMedia division with Discovery Inc in a deal worth 150 billion USD. The aim is to form a standalone, global entertainment company. As Mediavision has commented earlier, combining the HBO Nordic and Discovery+ services looks like a successful strategic move also in this part of the world. The two services would obtain a substantially bigger market share together, since there is only limited overlap in consumer uptake today. It would not outperform the two leading actors, Netflix and Viaplay, in number of subscribers but based on today’s market it would strengthen the position vis-à-vis most others (such as Disney+ and several other local Nordic players).

Further, looking at content supply, Mediavision can conclude that that the two services combined would make a significantly stronger customer offering, based on Nordic consumer preferences.

However, several pieces to this puzzle are yet to be determined. We will keep a close look at how the introduction of HBO Max impacts HBO Nordic’s position in the Nordics – and keep you updated.

Industry News

Spotify Opens Podcast Subscriptions in the US

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Spotify Ad Studio Launches in the Nordics

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Solsidan Returns for Seventh Season

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TV 2 DK Extends Rights to Serie A

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Sesamy to Offer Individual News and Articles

The Acast-founders Måns Ulvestam and Karl Rosander’s new company Sesamy offers e- and audiobooks at a one-time cost. Now, the service will expand to include individual news items and articles.