Newsletter 20th of October
20 October 2021
Can you feel it? Fall has arrived in full swing, one sign being the flood of Q3 reports and another one all the new originals from the streamers. The upcoming weeks on the telco and media markets will be really exciting – not the least with HBO Max launching on the 26th of October. Soon we will give you a heads up on how things may pan out for HBO Max in the Nordics – but until then, these are our main stories this week:
- Earnings season has arrived – Netflix added 4.4 million paid streaming memberships
4.2 million Nordic households pay specifically to watch sports via pay TV or streaming
Adele returns – while debate on compensation from streaming services resurface
- Nordic content continues to draw attention
Earnings Season Has Arrived
After the market closed yesterday, Netflix reported its earnings for Q3 2021.
Netflix added 4.38 million paid streaming membership globally in Q3 (compared to 2.2 million in Q3 2020) which gives a total of 213.6 million worldwide. Squid Game was listed as one driver behind this growth, with 142 million member households globally viewing the series in its first four weeks. However, note that this figure includes anyone who watched at least 2 minutes of an episode. Netflix reported revenue of USD 7.48 billion (+16% YOY) – nevertheless, Netflix stock fell 1.4% in after-hours trading. For Q4 2021, Netflix forecast paid net adds of 8.5 million – in line with growth recorded in Q4 2020 – and revenue of USD 7.71 million (+16% YOY).
Netflix has suffered from diminishing growth starting halfway through last year, after experiencing a surge in demand during 2020 as the pandemic hit. A weaker content slate due to pandemic-related disruptions in production, is said to be a contributing factor to slowdown in growth. In the weeks leading up to the report, Netflix has been in focus in the news cycle over both Squid Game’s strong performance (generating USD 900 million in ”impact value”) and controversy over the Dave Chappelle Special (blamed to be transphobic).
This week, Netflix also announced a partnership with Norwegian operator Altibox, which will be the first operator in Norway to offer Netflix as a third party.
Back on our home turf, Tele2 and Elisa have reported its Q3 earnings this week. Tele2 reported service revenues of SEK 4.9 billion for Q3 2021, an increase +2% compared to last year. Also, total revenue increased +2%, while earnings declined slightly – more or less on par with predictions. Revenues within the digital television segment decreased as 10,000 customers were lost during the quarter. Elisa reported a revenue increase by EUR 29 million in Q3 to a total of EUR 496 million, mainly driven by the camLine acquisition, Elisa Viihde Viaplay cooperation and growth in mobile revenue.
In the weeks ahead, the schedule will be positively packed with reports. Buckle up!
Mediavision: Premium Sports Households of Great Importance to TV-actors in the Nordics
4.2 million Nordic households pay specifically to watch sports via pay TV or streaming. These households are highly important to all actors in the industry as they pay significantly more than all other households. This is one of the main conclusions in the Mediavision Nordic Sports Analysis 2021.
Households that subscribe to premium sports pay almost twice as much as other paying households. But not only that, they also have a larger number of paid-for streaming services than other streaming households.
Looking at specific sports, Mediavision analysis further shows that certain rights have a more loyal subscriber base than others. Close to half of all customers paying for access to these rights, say they would cancel their subscription, or switch platform, if the right was to leave the current service. Premier League is one of the highest rated sports right in all the Nordic countries together with national football leagues, ice hockey and Champions League – the latter ones varying in importance between the countries.
This analysis provides an in-depth analysis of consumer interest, willingness to pay and pay rate. It covers +90 specific sports rights in the Nordics and offers a comprehensive insight on how the consumers value sports rights. It is also compares sports rights in the different Nordic countries.
Adele Turning Tables Once Again
Following a 6-year hiatus from the music scene, Adele is back – and within 24 hours, her new single Easy on me had shattered records on both Spotify and Amazon. Spotify announced that on the day of the release, 15th of October, the single became Spotify’s most-streamed song in a single day. Meanwhile, Amazon stated that the single had received the most first-day Alexa song requests in Amazon Music History. The full album is set for release on 30th of November. Five days before the release, CBS will air the two-hour special (also available to stream on Paramount+) “Adele One Night Only”, featuring a concert performance and an interview by Oprah.
Meanwhile, the discussion on compensation to songwriters and publishers from streaming services has once again ignited in the US. The US Copyright Act requires that the Copyright Royalty Judges conduct proceedings every five years to determine the mechanical royalty rates paid by streaming services to songwriters and publishers. This week, music streaming service owners including Spotify, Apple, Amazon, and Google have all filed documents with the US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) stating what they think is a suitable compensation to songwriters for the five years between 2023 and 2027. Whereas the National Music Publishers Association say it is “fighting to raise significantly what streaming services pay songwriters” – the streamers propose what critics say are “the lowest royalty rates in history”. To be continued…
Also in the UK, this debate ramped up this week as regulators are stepping up the scrutiny of the UK music streaming market in an effort to see whether there is enough competition – and whether returns for artists should by increased. The UK’s competition watchdog will perform a “market study” to assess whether new measures are necessary to improve streaming competition. The watchdog further stated that the review was needed because the way people listen to music has transformed drastically over the past decade, with streaming now accounting for over 80% of all the music played in the U.K.
Mediavision’s Insikt: Ljudmarknad gives an in-depth understanding of the entire audio market; audiobooks, music, podcasts and radio. The analysis focuses on the digital transformation of both listening and consumer payments, on both aggregated and actor specific levels.
Nordic Content Continues to Draw Attention
At last week’s Canneseries event, Nordic comedy shows Mister8 and Countrymen both won two awards each. Mister8, produced by Finland’s It’s Alive Films for Elisa Viihde, picked up Best long-form series and Best Actor Pekka Strang. Meanwhile, Countrymen, produced by Norway’s Rubicon Television for NRK/Arte France won a special prize for its ensemble cast and the High School Prize for Best Series.
This is the second consecutive year that a Nordic production scores Best TV series in a main programme at Canneseries. Last year, Partisan (Warner Bros. ITP/Viaplay) won the Best Series award. Hence, there is no doubt Nordic content is still in popular demand in the video industry. Further indications:
Canadian Entertainment One (eOne) has revealed plans for a “Swedish Scandi-noir” production in the Nordics in a move to strengthen its relationship with Nordic networks. In addition, eOne plans to expand on existing content distribution deals in the region that has so far rendered more than 800’ hours of content in 2021.
Icelandic Sagafilm renews its development and distribution deal with Comcast-owned Sky Studios, allowing the Icelandic company to expand into additional Scandinavian and English language projects.
Competition on the Nordic streaming market is intensive. As more services are launched and the supply increases, the interplay between content, subscriptions, and market position become even more important. What type of content drives growth – and what keeps consumers loyal?
Netflix Launches Book Club
Whether you’re a book worm or simply an occasional reader, you are probably aware that some of the most popular TV series and movies originate from literature. Netflix is no stranger to this, with some of its most popular originals being adaptions of novels – including Bridgerton and The Queen’s Gambit. Now, Netflix launches the Netflix Book Club, hosted by Uzo Aduba and invites viewers behind the scenes of the adaption process.
This year, some of the most anticipated premieres on the streaming services are in fact been adaptations of novels, including Cruella (Disney+), Dune (set for a US HBO Max premiere on Oct 21st ) and Två Systrar (Viaplay). Upcoming adaptations include Knutby (Cmore), Hur man löser ett spaningsmord (Discovery+), Elvira (Viaplay) The Lost Daughter (Netflix), The Wheel of Time (Amazon Prime Video) and Pachinko (Apple TV+).
Mediavision in the News
Over halvdelen af danske husstande betaler for at se sport – MediaWatch
Mediavision: Hushåll med sportabonnemang driver intäkterna – Dagens Media
Apple vill ge sig in i Hollywood – bygger nytt jättekontor – Di Digital
HBO’s new streaming service starts in Oct – Helsingn Sanomat
Research: Swedish audiobook streaming revenues growing – Advanced Television
Cannes Series: 9-14 October 2021, Cannes, France
MIPCOM: 11-14 October, Cannes, France
Bergen International Film Festival: 20-29 October 2021, Bergen, Norway
SportsPro OTT Summit: 15-18 November 2021, London, UK
IBC: 3-6 December 2021, Amsterdam, Netherlands
CTAM Europe Executive Management Programme: 20-25 March 2023, Fontainebleau, France
* Mediavision will attend
** Mediavision will present