Viaplay international rollout gathers pace, but Nordics stutters

International streaming platform Viaplay has unveiled a robust set of results for Q3 2022. Highlights included robust growth in the Netherlands and Poland, though this was offset by a weaker than expected performance in home territories, the Nordics.

Anders Jensen

In terms of the company’s headline subscriber figure, Viaplay reported that this was up 78% year on year to 6.4m. President and CEO Anders Jensen said: “We have delivered another quarter of high subscriber and revenue growth, which demonstrate the attraction and resilience of our offerings. Our content line-up has never been stronger, and we added key new original and sports content during the quarter. The international operations are performing ahead of plan, and we reached the important milestone of more than 1 million subscribers in both the Dutch and Polish markets. However, this international performance was offset by the rate of direct-to-consumer subscription and ARPU growth in the Nordics, which was lower than anticipated.”

For Q3 specifically, 28% YoY growth in the Viaplay subscriber base in the Nordics was driven by third party B2B distribution partnerships, as well as lower churn levels. “The number of premium subscribers in Norway is building following the inclusion of English Premier League coverage in August,” said Jensen, “but at a slower pace than anticipated. International Viaplay operations added 685k subscribers in the quarter, which was more than double the number of subscribers added in the previous quarter. The addition of EPL rights in Poland and the Netherlands contributed to the growth.”

Now that Viaplay has completed the acquisition of Premier Sports in the UK, Jensen said: “We are raising our year end international subscriber target from approximately 2.5m to approximately 2.7m. At the same time, we are reducing our year end Nordic target from 4.8m to 4.6m. Our group target is therefore unchanged at 7.3m.”

Looking at the Nordics, Jensen said: “The Q3 profitability level in the Nordics reflected our content investments, including the new and extended sports rights that will drive subscriber and revenue growth. The lower than anticipated Q4 sales growth in the Nordics cannot be fully offset by corrective measures and cost savings in the short term, so we now expect a full year margin for the Nordics of approximately 7%.”

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