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NENT sees local content as key to its Nordic streaming battle with Netflix

Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT) CEO Anders Jensen used his MIPTV keynote to tell delegates that he regards his firm as a streaming company – despite its diverse free TV, PayTV and production operations. “We believe in free and PayTV and invest in it, but streaming is where the consumer is going – so that’s how I see NENT.”

Jensen said the firm has invested 350 million Euros in streaming technology to date, “because consumers won’t watch content on a poor platform – even if it’s great.”

NENT faces tough competition in its home market from the likes of Netflix and HBO, but continues to hold its own with its streaming platform Viaplay. Going forward, Jensen said survival will require significant investment in local original content: “That will be our key credible differentiator from platforms like Netflix. I believe we need to be giving people around 40 originals a year – almost one a week. Currently, we are at about 20 a year, so we need to invest more and open up more partnerships.”

While the emphasis is on local content, Jensen said the goal is to invest in shows that have enough appeal that they can work in international distribution, with revenues then coming back into future production. Asked about NENT’s international plans, he said the focus would be on content – with the days of international expansion into Eastern Europe and Africa behind it. “We are focused on the Nordics, where streaming penetration is around 45% – which means room for growth.”