Viaplay, NENT Group’s leading Scandinavian streaming service, is set to launch in five new markets: U.K., Canada, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The company began expanding its international footprint last year and is planning a rollout in the U.S. and Poland, among other countries.
The streamer’s launch in the U.K. is scheduled for the second half of 2022, followed by the other four markets during 2023. Viaplay previously launched in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Iceland. It will be present in 16 markets by the end of 2023. The service’s bow in Netherlands is planned for the first quarter of 2022.
As in other markets, Viaplay’s offering will include premium Nordic drama and international series, movies and documentaries. The content will be a mix of Viaplay Originals and acquired titles. NENT Group said it may also add selected sports rights for some of the new European territories. Viaplay will be available in the new markets on a direct-to-consumer basis, as well as through partnerships with local distributors.
NENT Group has also increased its target for Viaplay subscribers by the end of 2025 from approximately 10.5 million to 12 million, of which roughly 6 million are now expected to come from international markets, compared with the original target of approximately 4.5 million.
“We have acquired virtually all of the international sports rights that we targeted and for multiple cycles in several cases; added one more market to our roll-out ambition; signed innovative partnership agreements; and raised the bar when it comes to our investments in original content,” said Anders Jensen, NENT Group President & CEO.
Jensen said the company’s investment in exclusive content has contributed to increasing its subscriber and revenue growth targets, as well as its target profitability levels. “We are investing more short term to create even higher long term returns due to the considerable operating leverage that this creates. We are investing in this growth right now, in order to capitalise on the opportunity created as the shift to streaming video consumption continues to accelerate, and demand for high quality and locally relevant stories increases,” said Jensen.
Earlier this month, NENT Group reorganized and rebranded its studios operations as Viaplay Studios, bringing together the company’s thriving Swedish production banners, including Brain Academy and Nice Drama. These outfits’ well known credits include “Midnight Sun” (pictured), “The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared,” “Thicker Than Water,” “The Perfect Patient” and “Max Anger.” Viaplay Studios’ slate of upcoming Originals includes Lasse Hallström’s “Hilma” and Adi Hasak’s “The Box.”
NENT Group recently sold its 12 production companies operating across non-scripted, scripted and factual content to Fremantle; and its U.K. distribution business to All3Media.