NENT Group, the leading Nordic streaming company, is set to launch in Poland and the U.S. in 2021 and will roll out in five more European markets by the end of 2023.
Viaplay, NENT Group’s streaming service, will be launched abroad as a tailored service offering premium Nordic drama series. The company is expecting to attract approximately 4.5 million international subscribers by the end of 2025.
“Viaplay is a proven Nordic success story and we are now ready to expand internationally and become the European streaming champion. We have one of the world’s most flexible and scalable technology platforms, and aim to be the most diverse and inclusive storyteller with our amazing range of original, acquired, local and live content that offers something special for everyone,” said Anders Jensen, NENT Group President and CEO.
“We have already signed up key content rights in our target markets, and are in discussions with distributors about exciting new partnerships to ensure that Viaplay is available everywhere,” added Jensen.
The CEO pointed out that the U.S. is the largest market in the world when it comes to market penetration, with 80% household penetration and 300 million subscriptions. Despite the competition, however, NENT Group is confident “there is still room for a specialized Nordic service.”
Jensen said the company received a positive response from distributors and conducted surveys with subscribers in key markets such as Los Angeles and New York. “The feedback we got is that non-English-language content is going from one strength to another; there is a strong appetite for international content and Nordic content scores higher than most, including French and Italian,” said Jensen, adding that more than 50% of people surveyed said they would subscribe to a Nordic service.
The service hasn’t yet been priced in the U.S. but Jensen said a price point will fall in the mid-low single digit range. “There are a lot of different services available but we know that the estimated growth in specialized streaming service is about 89%, so we are well positioned,” said Jensen.
While some of Viaplay’s original series have been sold to global services outside of the Nordics, Jensen said the platform still owns rights to approximately 8 out of 10 most relevant series. “And we can always buy them back. If they’ve been hidden in a category on a [global service] for a number of years, it doesn’t mean that they won’t find an audience on our platform,” said Jensen. NENT Group will also be making third-party acquisitions to fill its pipeline and grow its library.
Since the start of the pandemic, the consumption of content on Viaplay went up by 35%, with a near 50% increase for sports titles, said Jensen.
Viaplay’s launch in Poland is being planned for August. The Polish market also holds some potential. As much as 25% of Poland’s 13.8 million households currently have a streaming subscription, and by 2025, penetration is expected to surpass 40% of households.
As previously announced, Viaplay will be launched in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in March. Earlier this year, Viaplay debuted in Iceland.
NENT Group’s international operations anticipate turning a profit by 2025 with accumulated combined losses to break even of approximately $3 billion (SEK 2.5 billion).
By the end of 2025, NENT Group aims to increase its subscriber base to around 10.5 million by more than doubling its Viaplay paying subscriber base in the Nordics to approximately 6 million, and growing its international subscriber base to approximately 4.5 million.