Swedish TV Market: Turnover all-time-high 2014 – shift from broadcast to online
A new all-time-high in turnover was reached for the total Swedish TV market in 2014. This does not mean that all is peaches and cream. Following recent years’ viewer transition from broadcast to online, the shift is now also becoming apparent in terms of revenue – and it is not the Swedish TV actors who lead the development.
In total, the market turnover exceeded SEK 21 bn last year, an increase of 5 percent over 2013. But it is no longer the Swedish TV actors who are driving growth. This according to consultancy firm Mediavision in their annual industry report of the Swedish TV market, published last week.
During 2014, Swedes reduced their broadcast TV viewing dramatically: minus 4 percent compared to 2013, which means that the average viewing time is down at 153 minutes per day. This is the lowest figure since 2005, i.e. since before Sweden transitioned to digital TV and the selection of channels was considerably more limited than today. Notably, the significant decrease in viewing occurred despite major sports events, such as the Sochi Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup. Normally, such years see spikes in viewing. All told, the drop in viewing resulted in reduced broadcast advertising revenues – approximately SEK 200 million less than in 2013 or minus 3 percent.
In other words, Swedish broadcaster lost in advertising revenues, whilst the pay TV market only grew marginally. The pay TV operators experienced a slight drop in subscriber numbers for the second year in a row. As a direct consequence of the overall revenue pressure for several of the major incumbent TV actors, tough negotiations between broadcasters and pay TV operators are expected in the near term, similar to the recently ended conflict between major operator Telia and broadcaster SBS Discovery.
Overall, the commercial broadcast TV market declined in 2014, while online TV continued to increase rapidly. However, the competition on the online market is considerably tougher than on the broadcast TV market. Here, global players such as Netflix and Youtube not only command big shares of viewing, but also of revenues. Several Swedish actors have announced increased online efforts for 2015, something presumed to speed on the transformation of the Swedish TV industry and intensify the competition over viewers further.
– It has only been a matter of time before the shift in the consumption of video would start being reflected also in revenues. We have seen this development for other media industries and TV will not be an exception – online is where the growth will be from now on and where the next battle will stand. The good news is that the market as a whole is growing and that consumer interest continues to be high. In short, it’s exciting times ahead for the Swedish TV market, says Marie Nilsson, CEO Mediavision.