In two days, Netflix will mark the 10th anniversary of its debut in Sweden, followed by subscription streaming access across the rest of the Nordics (Norway, Denmark, Finland). While the streamer tops subscriber households in the region to remain No. 1 in market share, new data from research group Mediavision finds the SVOD behemoth under increased competitive pressure from local streaming services.
Indeed, the launch of rival global SVOD services, including Disney+, HBO Max and Paramount+, combined with a push by regional players, Netflix this year reported first-time subscriber losses worldwide. While other streaming services enjoyed a boost during the pandemic, Mediavision analysis pointed at diminishing growth for Netflix, below the overall market trajectory following record growth in 2020.
Focusing on the Nordics as a total, Mediavision contends that the past spring was tough for Netflix in the Nordics, including losing subscriber households for the first time.
“Despite the sharp increase in competition, Netflix has remained the Nordic market leader with more than 4 million subscribing households through the fall 2022,” Mediavision wrote in in a report.
A key to Netflix’s success has been focusing on localized content, according to Mediavision. While “Lilyhammer,” which was co-produced with NRK, the Norwegian public broadcaster, was the streamer’s first original content, Netflix was the first global SVOD player to commission Nordic originals. It started off with “The Rain,” a Danish series in the spring of 2018, followed by the Swedish original series “Quicksand,” released in early 2019. Other major titles included “Snabba Cash,” “Bordertown,” “Ragnarök” and “Borgen — Power & Glory”.
By the end of 2021, Netflix had nearly 70 Nordic originals in its library. And the titles have also attracted viewers outside the region. According to Netflix, almost two-thirds of their members globally have chosen to watch a Nordic original film or series.
Last year, Netflix expanded its Nordic presence by opening an office in Stockholm. The company also has a management team based in Copenhagen, to further support the region.
Netflix also launched a gaming service, with some operations in the Nordics, as another means of increasing consumer loyalty. The plans are to expand from today’s 24 games, to 50 by the end of the year. So far, games have been downloaded a total of 23.3 million times and average daily users are 1.7 million — less than 1% of Netflix’s 221 million subscribers.