The Nordic markets have among the highest uptake of streaming SVoD services in Europe, but local players are giving Netflix a run for its money, according to new research from Ampere Analysis.
Despite strong demand in the Nordic markets for streaming content, the average market share of Netflix in the region is just 49%; that compares to an average of 71% in the rest of Western Europe.
Local players hold sway
While smaller individually, local players like Viaplay, TV2 Play, C More and the regional version of HBO account for the majority of streaming service contracts in the region. In every other Western European market except Germany, Italy and Spain, Netflix claims the majority of SVoD subscriptions. Local flavour is clearly key in the Nordics and pays dividends, even in the most highly penetrated streaming markets.
Moving beyond Nordic Noir
Nordic Noir (crime content originating in the Scandinavian countries) is now world famous and a key export for local content producers, but there are early signs that local streaming players are starting to move beyond the genre in a bid to compete with international players.
Analysis of content currently in production or development (but not yet completed or aired) in the region, shows that a staggering 47% of all shows are crime or thriller. But streaming players are more diverse in their commissioning strategies than linear channel players. Although the local linear channels and broadcasters have far more shows in development than local streaming players (59 different shows versus 23 from streaming players), an even greater proportion are crime. More than half (52%) of all shows in production for linear channels are crime compared to just 39% for streaming players.
So where next for Nordic TV shows?
While Nordic Noir looks set to continue as the primary focus of local producers in the short term, it seems that after years of excelling in dark drama, Scandinavians are in need of a laugh. Of shows currently in production or development locally, the next biggest genre for streaming players is comedy (22% of shows in development). Linear players, however, are looking to historical drama for their next big hits (10% of shows in development).
Elinor Clark, Analyst at Ampere Analysis says: “The Nordic countries are home to the most dynamic streaming TV markets in Europe and local players have had to deal with a rapid transition of TV viewers to streaming services. Content is now the key battleground and, while Nordic Noir has served the region well, there is indication that local players will now look to develop comedy and period drama as the next big push.”