According to the Stockholm-based consultancy Mediavision, 200,000 Swedish households say they intend to sign up for a subscription to HBO Nordic. Half-year figures show 1.5 million households are subscribing to at least one subscription on demand service.
The second quarter brought an increase in subscriptions of 7 per cent when compared to the same period last year. This is lower than previous quarters and initially points to a slowdown in the market.
However, based on consumer purchase plans, Mediavision is predicting the market will see a new push during the third quarter. This is attributed entirely to the growth in expectations for HBO Nordic – a 50 per cent increase on 2016.
“The fact that Game of Thrones is HBO Nordic’s trump card in the battle for subscribers on the new TV market is undeniable. On the other hand, being so highly dependent on one show comes at a price. Compared to Netflix, whose steady growth each quarter is driven by a large quantity of high quality releases that appeal to a large variety of viewers. Netflix’ strength lies in its diversity. Long lasting success demands the viewers’ attention all the time, not just for a single show,” says Marie Nilsson, CEO of Mediavision.
But when it comes to current subscriptions, Netflix still has a clear lead, and recorded the largest growth of all the S-VOD services in Sweden.
HBO even saw a decline in subscriber numbers compared to the second quarter of last year. Mediavision’s analysis suggests that the postponed release of the latest season of Game of Thrones this year is a likely explanation.