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Distribution / Releases / Exhibitors - Sweden/Denmark/Finland/Norway/USA

Industry Report: Distribution, Exhibition and Streaming

HBO enjoys major growth in the Nordics and adds over 635,000 subscribing households following Max launch


The new figures disclosed by Mediavision show that the streaming giant is now back in the region’s top three, with an average household penetration of just below 20%

HBO enjoys major growth in the Nordics and adds over 635,000 subscribing households following Max launch
Mediavision CEO Marie Nilsson

HBO is growing huge in the Nordic countries, according to the latest figures disclosed by independent analysis and consultancy firm Mediavision. Following HBO Nordic’s exchange for the broader Warner-owned HBO Max service on 26 October, the streaming platform has gained over 635,000 new subscribing households. Thanks to this relaunch, the service is now back in the Nordic SVoD top-three list, with an average Nordic household penetration of just below 20%.

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Mediavision’s press release notes that in 2019, shortly after the release of Game of Thrones’ last season, HBO Nordic reached new heights with almost 2 million subscribing households. However, after that and up until the launch of HBO Max, the service lost approximately 400,000 subscribing households. “Mediavision can now conclude that the launch of HBO Max has resulted in HBO not only regaining what had been lost, but that it has also added new customers. [...] HBO has thereby reclaimed its position as the third-biggest SVoD service in the Nordics, with 2.2 million subscribing households. This is the highest number for HBO ever recorded by Mediavision,” highlights the press release.

In broader terms, last week, AT&T disclosed that HBO (including HBO Max) recorded a total of 73.8 million subscribers at the end of 2021. This figure surpasses the giant’s own target of 70-73 million. Strong international launches of HBO Max in regions such as Latin America and Europe were cited as a contributing factor to the success. Furthermore, the European Commission granted unconditional antitrust clearance to Discovery’s $43 billion acquisition of AT&T’s WarnerMedia just before the year ended. The merger is expected to be completed by mid-2022, but it still needs to be approved by Discovery stockholders and pass other regulatory approvals, including those in the USA, where more than 30 Democratic Members of Congress have expressed concerns regarding reduced competition.

Commenting on HBO’s latest growth trend, Mediavision’s CEO, Marie Nilsson, explained: “The launch of HBO Max has had a direct, positive, effect on the total number of Nordic SVoD subscriptions. However, the effect on household penetration is less substantial. The vast majority of the new customers already held at least one subscription to another service. This means that HBO Max has pushed ‘stacking’ on the Nordic market. This is similar to what we saw when Disney+ launched in the autumn of 2020. Our conclusion is that, despite a clearly maturing market in terms of SVoD household penetration, we can still expect a continuous growth in subscriptions. The demand for strong content has still not reached its peak in the Nordics.”

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