Yesterday Disney assumed full operational control of Hulu following a deal with Comcast. Comcast has agreed to sell its stake in Hulu to Disney within five years for at least $5.8 billion. NBCUniversal (NBCU) will continue to license content to Hulu until 2024. However, as soon as next year NBCU has the right to pull back content which was previously licensed exclusively to Hulu, meaning it would still be available to Hulu on a non-exclusive basis at a reduced licensing fee.
Audiobook subscription service Storytel reported its first quarter earnings on Tuesday. Sales and subscriber numbers were up compared to Q1 2018, however, the company also reported an increased loss, amounting to SEK 89 million. Storytel expects total paying subscribers to hit 880 000 in the second quarter. Focusing on the Nordics, Mediavision reports a strong audiobook market for Q1, 2.7 million households subscribe to at least one audiobook service with Denmark being the market with the highest household penetration.
Apple launched its reworked Apple TV application in more than 100 countries this week, including Sweden and Norway. The application acts as an aggregator service which lets users purchase TV services and subscriptions directly through the app by paying through iTunes. Users in Sweden are able to sign up for HBO Nordic, C More, Viaplay and Amazon Prime Video through the application. Interesting to note is that Netflix, with a market leading position in the Nordics, is not included. Mediavision will shortly launch the latest Netflix figures, but the streaming giant since long holds a commanding share of the Nordic market (3.3 million subscribing households Fall 2018). Apple’s SVOD service which is set to launch later this fall will also be available through the same application.
Across the Atlantic, Fox has entered into a long-term sports betting partnership with The Stars Group, which owns brands such as Pokerstars and Full Tilt. According to a press release two new betting products are to be launched this year, one of which will be named Fox Bet. Furthermore, as part of the partnership Fox will acquire 14.4 million newly emitted shares in The Stars Group, which equates to roughly 5 percent of ownership or $236 million.
Spotify has invested heavily in the podcast segment as of late with the acquisition of podcast companies Gimlet and Anchor. Now, Spotify continues its ambitious podcast endeavor by announcing the launch of a podcast tool through its sub-brand Soundtrap. Soundtrap which is a cloud-based audio production studio tool was acquired by Spotify for SEK500 million two years ago. In conjunction with the launch of “Soundtrap for Storytellers” Spotify is setting up a podcast school in collaboration with famous podcast profiles such as Alex Schulman and Anton Berg.
*Events where Mediavision will be presenting