Newsletter 4th of October
4 October 2023
These are the main topics this week:
- Spotify includes audiobooks to its premium subscription in the UK and Australia
- Scandinavian TV companies enters production cooperation
- Viaplay Group and Formula 1 enters partnership in the Netherlands
- Mark Zuckerberg showcase Meta’s new VR avatars in first-ever Metaverse interview
Spotify includes audiobooks to its premium subscription in the UK and Australia
Yesterday, Spotify announced a big update to its audiobook business. Spotify Premium users in Australia and the UK now have instant access to more than 150,000 audiobooks, which are included in the user’s subscription.
About a year ago, Spotify released audiobooks in the US. All users were then able to make individual purchases of more than 300,000 audiobooks through Spotify. Later on, this feature was also released in Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
Now, Spotify has made a significant change to its audiobook business as premium users in Australia and the UK markets will have direct access to audiobooks that are included in the subscription. Spotify offers each premium individual, as well as plan managers for Family- and Duo-accounts, 15 hours of listening per month. The user can listen to as many titles as they want within that monthly allocation.
The new feature of included audiobooks is available for Premium users in Australia and the UK starting today, with a launch in the US scheduled later this year. Spotify CEO, Daniel Ek, announced the news in a Linkedin post, where he stated that more countries will follow in the future.
This analysis provides in-depth understanding of the entire audio market – including 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.
Scandinavian TV companies enters production cooperation
Danish TV 2, Norwegian TV 2 and Swedish TV4 have entered a production cooperation. The three TV companies plan to co-produce the next big Scandinavian drama series.
The new collaboration, named Scandialliance, aims to produce high-quality drama series that anchor stories and characters in the common culture of the Scandinavian countries. The companies now welcome producers in the Scandinavian countries to submit their projects.
– We are looking for series that can be classified as “large-scale drama” that reach a broad target group, with a common Scandinavian reality. In terms of genre, it can be anything from character-driven suspense to sci-fi – or at the intersection of several genres, continues Piodor Gustafsson, Director of Scripted Content at TV4 in Sweden.
Submissions are accepted as of now, and the ideas that best meet the alliance’s wishes will be invited to pitch. The goal is to broadcast the first major Scandinavian drama series in 2026.
This analysis covers both the TV- and streaming markets in the Nordic countries. It rests on three pillars: the consumers, the market, and the actors. Analyzing the consumers takes us far – but not all the way. Studying the actors and the market as a whole is just as important.
Viaplay Group and Formula 1 enters partnership in the Netherlands
Viaplay Group and Formula 1 have entered a strategic partnership in the Netherlands. The cooperation will give Viaplay’s Dutch customers access to Formula 1’s streaming service, F1 TV Pro, as part of their Viaplay subscription. This will be an addition to Viaplay’s already existing coverage of Formula 1.
The Netherlands is the home country of the current number one F1-driver in the world, Max Verstappen. Therefore, Formula 1 is a particularly important broadcasting right in the Dutch market. In addition to its Formula 1 rights, Viaplay has a long-term partnership with Verstappen himself, who appears in Viaplay’s internationally known documentary series Verstappen – Lion Unleashed and Anatomy of a Champion.
The agreement between Viaplay and Formula 1 covers the 2024 season. The new partnership highlights Viaplay’s position on the Dutch market. Together with the Nordics, they are the countries that Viaplay has chosen to focus on ahead. Formula 1’s streaming service, F1 TV Pro, will also remain available as a stand-alone product in the Netherlands.
In the Nordics, Formula 1 is by far the most popular motor sport to watch on TV/online. Close to 10 percent of the 15-74-year-olds in the region state interest in watching the sport and Viaplay Group holds the broadcasting rights throughout the Nordics. This is presented in Mediavision’s latest Sports Analysis.
This analysis covers both the TV- and streaming markets in Sweden. It rests on three pillars: the consumers, the market, and the actors. Analysing the consumers takes us far – but not all the way. Studying the actors and the market as a whole is just as important.
Mark Zuckerberg showcases Meta’s new VR avatars in first-ever Metaverse interview
Meta has created new photorealistic virtual reality avatars. Mark Zuckerberg recently showcased the realistic VR avatars during a “Metaverse interview” on the Lex Fridman podcast. Despite being hundreds of miles apart, Fridman and Zuckerberg appeared (for both each other and the viewers) as if sitting next to each other, mainly thanks to improvements to the avatar technology. These avatars, called Codec VR avatars, employ advanced scanning technology to create lifelike 3D models of users’ faces. In contrast to Meta’s earlier, less impressive Metaverse avatars, these new projections are remarkably realistic. The new avatars, and the interview, can be watched here.
It may take some time until the avatars are generally available, as Meta is still working on streamlining the scanning process. Meta plans to integrate this technology into its products over the next few years. Hopefully (for Meta and other manufacturers), investments and updates like these will boost the general interest in VR. Meta’s Reality Labs alone has lost more than USD 21 billion since the beginning of last year, and sceptics naturally argue over the profitability of VR.
In the Nordic market, the penetration and purchase plans have remained stable for the recent years. Today, 11% of the Nordic households have a VR set. This is presented in Mediavision’s Consumer Device Report.
Mediavision in the News
Så slår krisen mot tv-tittarna – Göteborgs-posten
Markant flere husstande har en internetforbundet tv-enhed – Mediawatch
Research: Streaming heightens demand for connected devices – Advanced Television
Trots krisen – betalningsviljan för rörligt ökar – Dagens Media
Svenskarnas kontodelning kostar jättarna nära 1 miljard kronor – Dagens Industri
Svensk login-deling koster streamingudbydere over en halv milliard årligt – Mediawatch
Trendbrott: Fler svenskar piratkopierar film och tv – Dagens Nyheter
Poll: Illegal streaming on the rise in Nordic countries – Yle
MIPCOM: 16-19 October 2023, Cannes, France
Stockholm Film Festival: 8-19 November 2023, Stockholm, Sweden
MIPTV: 15-17 April 2024, Cannes, France
* Mediavision will attend
** Mediavision will present