BritBox Streaming Service Heading to the Nordics

BritBox International, the subscription streaming video service from BBC Studios and ITV, will soon be available in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway through a distribution partnership with Scandinavian SVOD serivce C More. This pact marks the first for BritBox in the Nordics, and means the service will be available in a total of eight countries.

In early 2022, C More subscribers will have access to all BritBox English-language programming with both local and English-language subtitles available in each country. Launch date and pricing will be announced at a later date.

Non-C More subs will have the opportunity to subscribe directly to BritBox in these countries. Launched in 2017, Britbox reportedly has 2.6 million subs worldwide, including 1.5 million in the United States.

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C More reportedly had more than 18% penetration in Swedish households in 2020.

“BritBox International has built a fast-growing subscriber base who are passionate and loyal British television viewers,” Reemah Sakaan, CEO of BritBox International, said in a statement.

“British drama has been loved and appreciated in the Nordics for generations, and it is therefore a huge privilege to give our viewers this unique access to the great collection on BritBox,” said Anna Chrona, Head of Commercial, C More. “Through the partnership with BritBox we secure a substantial volume of content, including classic crime favorites and exclusive premieres of new BritBox originals for our customers to explore.”

BritBox will be distributed directly by C More in Sweden, Denmark and Finland, and via TV 2 in Norway.

‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ Drive HBO Nordic Sub Growth

Scandinavia (especially Sweden) has long been a hotbed for subscription streaming video. HBO launched its first over-the-top video service — HBO Nordic — long before the domestic rollout of HBO Now in 2014.

HBO Nordic remains a formidable competitor to Netflix and other local SVOD services notably this year thanks to “Game of Thrones” and “Big Little Lies,” among other programming.

New data from Mediavision contends the final season of “Thrones” and second season of “Lies” jumpstarted HBO Nordic subscriber growth to more than 200,000 members in Sweden in the second quarter (ended June 30) — up 50% from the previous-year period.

By comparison, market leader Netflix grew 14% year-over-year.

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Mediavision believes the sub growth can also be attributed to new seasons of “Big Little Lies,” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” — the latter available in the U.S. exclusively on Hulu. HBO’s original (created by Comcast-owned Sky) miniseries — “Chernobyl” — also received a strong reception from both Swedish audiences and critics.

As is the trend globally among OTT and traditional media distributors, original content is driving subscriber interest. But it’s not just global services that are increasing their content investments.

In Sweden, both C More and Viaplay have launched new drama series, in addition to extending existing episodic programming. Viaplay’s owner NENT has announced that it intends to launch six new original series in 2019.

Netflix, of course, has taken original content one step further. Its Swedish original series, “Greatest of all,” is produced for Netflix by the Swedish production company FLX — a strategy the SVOD pioneer is emulating in markets worldwide.

“We are moving towards a period where the value of many and strong titles is likely to increase further,” Marie Nilsson, CEO of Mediavision, said in a statement. “The hunt for new customers is also learning to intensify, as major players such as Disney and Apple are ready to enter Sweden, too. This will help drive the streaming market further.”