The Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group has reported reaching just over four million paying subscribers to its Viaplay streaming service after adding 397,000 new customers in the fourth quarter of last year – year-on-year growth in subscribers of 33 per cent.
Introducing the company’s full year report, Anders Jensen, Nent’s president and chief executive officer, said the company had added almost a million new Viaplay customers during the year.
Last year, Nent reported a total of 3.02 million paying Viaplay subscribers, after adding 749,000 customers in 2020. At the time Nent said it expected to add 650,000 new subscribers in 2021 – a figure which has been comfortably surpassed.
“The total addressable market for Viaplay increased dramatically in 2021 as we doubled the number of markets that we are in,” Jensen said in a statement. “We met and exceeded both our Nordic and international subscriber targets, and have had a particularly strong start in Poland.”
Nent’s group organic sales are up 17 per cent for the year, with Viaplay sales up 22 per cent.
Jensen added: “2022 has started well and we expect Viaplay subscriber and revenue growth to accelerate further this year as planned, as we add very attractive new content and sports rights, and launch Viaplay in the Netherlands and the UK.”
Viaplay will launch in the UK in the second half of 2022 and then in Canada, Germany, Austria and Switzerland during 2023. It is already active in the Nordics, Baltic region, Poland and the US, and will launch in the Netherlands on March 1.
Nent’s 2022 Annual General Meeting will be held on May 18 in Stockholm. Nent stated that: “In line with previous statements, the Board of Directors will propose to the AGM that no annual cash dividend be paid for 2021 and that the 2021 profits be carried forward into 2022 for the planned investment into the ongoing international expansion.”
Jensen also said: “Viaplay customers streamed a total of 13.4bn minutes of content as viewing of our 152 seasons of originals continued to grow, and our coverage of the Bundesliga, English Premier League, UEFA competitions, Formula One and Winter sports all attracted large scale audiences.
“Other subscription revenues (32 per cent of sales) were up 13 per cent YoY on an organic basis, and reflected rising prices for the enhanced content offerings and new agreements with distributors.
“Advertising revenues (32 per cent of sales) were up 3 per cent YoY on an organic basis, as advertising spending continued to recover and led to high sold-out ratios.”
Looking ahead, he added: “We will soon launch our new five-year sustainability strategy, roadmap and targets, with the focus on producing and delivering content sustainably and becoming the most diverse and inclusive entertainment company. The pandemic has not only accelerated and broadened the adoption of streaming and the hunger for diverse content, but also highlighted how relevant our values-based and purpose-led culture is.” Sports Business