How well has the streaming service Viaplay performed in its first year in Poland?
Launched on August 3, 2021, it didn’t exactly take the market by storm but quickly established a foothold. Indeed, early figures showed that it had 2.25 million internet and mobile app users in its full month of operation and by the end of 2021 Poland accounted for the lion’s share of its paying subscribers outside Scandinavia. The latter will of course change as Viaplay’s international rollout continues – it was launched in the Netherlands this spring and will make its debut in the UK later this year, followed by more countries in 2023 – but Poland will undoubtedly remain a key market.
Viaplay was initially boosted in Poland by distribution agreements with several companies including Vectra and UPC Polska, the country’s two leading cable operators. Its content offer, with a strong focus on sport, including coverage of the Premier League, Bundesliga and (from 2023) Formula 1, was also a strong draw.
More recently, it has reached an agreement with Canal+ Polska that will make the service available to the latter’s premium DTH subscribers. It has also sub-licensed some Premier League matches to Canal+ Polska for the next three seasons.
However, on the downside, Viaplay has been dogged by technical problems that have made the service difficult to receive by some of its subscribers. In January, for instance, it suffered blackouts during coverage of a Bundesliga match and the KSW 66 martial arts gala. Difficulties have since been reported on several occasions, most recently the start of this season’s Premier League last weekend. They have even led the Polish competition authority UOKiK to recently say that it will look into complaints and as a last resort possibly issue the service with a fine.
Looking to the future, Viaplay recently revealed that it plans to increase its monthly subscription fees in Poland by nearly 62% next March. Although its focus will undoubtedly remain on sport, it will soon probably start to release some long-awaited Polish productions.
For more information about Chris Dziadul, please visit https://www.chrisdziadul.com