NENT Group makes new international plans with Viaplay Select

In a fresh twist to its international expansion plans, Nordic Entertainment/Viaplay has launched a branded content concept, Viaplay Select, that will be available through partner platforms in selected markets starting with Japan.

The group has meanwhile also revealed that its paid subscriber base role by over half in the year to March, fuelled by a strong initial showing for the streamer in the Netherlands, where it launched in March.

Viaplay Select, the new branded offering, will initially offer up to 450 hours of content to viewers in a minimum of five new territories this year, starting with Japan, where the streamer has partnered with WOWOW, from this month.

Viaplay said the Select rollout would increase its market presence to at least 21 countries by the end of 2023, with the Viaplay app available direct to consumers in at least 16 countries by the same date.

The offering will focus on markets where Viaplay is not currently prioritising the launch of a direct-to-consumer service.

Anders Jensen, NENT Group President and CEO, said: “The uniqueness of Nordic content is creating significant global demand for this type of storytelling – and nobody delivers higher quality or volumes than us. Viaplay Select will be a fantastic showcase that helps partners stand out in a competitive streaming landscape, while increasing our content investment returns. Viaplay’s new partner markets will be margin-accretive from day one. We continue to innovate and collaborate to bring our award-winning stories to viewers around the world.”

The launch announcement comes as Viaplay revealed that growth in its paid subscriber base in the year to March reached 52%, meaning that it added 778,000 subs.

Viaplay accounted for 39% of Nordic Entertainment/NENT Group’s overall sales for the first quarter, boosting revenue growth of 10%. NENT Group aims to change its name to Viaplay as it expands in markets well beyond its Nordic base.

International growth in being fuelled by the Dutch launch in particular, which accounts for the majority of its 1.208 million non-Nordic subscribers.

Overall, Viaplay had 4.783 million subscribers at the end of the first quarter.

The streamer will launch, including live sports, in the UK in the second half of 2022; followed by Canada, Germany, Austria and Switzerland during 2023, with more information on its content offering to come.

Revenue for the first quarter amounted to SEK3.32 billion, up from SEK2.98 billion for the same period last year, driven by Viaplay. Operating income was SEK602 million, up from SEK210 million.

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