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Netflix, HBO, TV2 Sumo & Viaplay - Differing Service Strategies Creating a Thriving SVoD Market

Video Research, Analysis and Commentary

10 Jun 2019 - The Norwegian video entertainment market grew 6% in 2018. Norwegian subscription video on demand (SVoD) was the key driver and accounted for nearly a fifth of all consumer video entertainment spend, one of the highest proportions in the world. Entertainment hungry Norwegian viewers spent 2.5 billion NOK on SVoD (US$289 million), this is despite being a mature market already, with additional value being driven by continued service price increases and multiple subscriptions per SVoD household.

SVoD Operator Landscape and Service Strategies for Success

There are four main SVoD players in this market, making it highly competitive between Netflix, HBO, TV2 Sumo and Viaplay, with other smaller players still active.

Netflix in Pole Position

Netflix has dominated the market since it entered in 2012 and retained a market leading position in 2018, with subscriptions exceeding 1 million subscribers for the first time.

Tristan Veale, Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting stated that, “The 26-35 age group has proven to be the key age demographic for Netflix and has almost gained a utility status. As these consumers come of age, they have their own disposable income and convert from being Netflix users on someone else’s account, to account holders themselves.”

In addition to Netflix, HBO has a strong presence and the quality of its library drove sales. It had an estimated 20% market share at the end of 2018, despite no Game of Thrones season airing during the year, HBO’s most influential title worldwide.

Viaplay also witnessed healthy growth, and although Norway is one of its weaker Nordic markets, revenues were boosted by raising prices in 2017.

SVoD the Rising Star, but Pay-TV Remains Stable

Veale adds, “Multiple subscription trends are significant. However, in terms of revenue it is still dwarfed by Pay-TV which maintained stable revenues in 2018, accounting for 70% of total video entertainment spend.”

Moving forward to 2023, Futuresource Consulting goes on to predict that Pay-TV subscriptions will decline, with household penetration going down from 97% to 94%. However, as the average revenue per user (ARPU) is forecasted to increase, the revenues will appear to be mostly flat. Furthermore, by 2021 Futuresource expects an average of at least 2 services per SVoD household and by 2023 SVoD household saturation is trending to reach 79%.

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