Viaplay Group, a Scandinavian-based media company, Nov. 9 reaffirmed plans to launch its branded subscription streaming video service in the U.S. in February and in Canada in March 2023. No further direct-to-consumer markets are expected to be launched next year.
The platform, which currently operates in 11 European countries, is projected to grow subscribers 23% from approximately 7.3 million at the end of 2022 to about 9 million at the end of 2023. Of those subs, 5 million are expected to be in the Nordics, and 4 million subscribers in international markets.
“We are today reaffirming our 2022 and 2025 targets, which demonstrates the significant progress that we have already made, and the considerable potential of the group,” CEO Anders Jensen said in a statement.
Jensen said international expansion is running ahead of plan and the company expects to achieve combined profitability for the international operations in 2024 — one year ahead of schedule.
“We have just launched in the U.K. and will launch in the U.S. and Canada in the coming months. These are three mature markets in which we have tailored content offerings and need relatively small market shares to generate healthy profits,” he said.
Viaplay, which is set to launch in the U.S. priced at $4.99 on Comcast’s Xfinity platforms featuring more than 1,100 Nordic TV series and movies.
That said, Jensen revealed that global economic challenges remain.
“We are implementing a cost savings and investment deferral program in order to offset currency headwinds due to the inflation of our U.S. dollar content acquisition costs, and the impact of the weaker macro-economic environment,” he said. “We remain fully funded for our expansion, are adjusting our operational model and have appointed senior commercial leaders in our markets to ensure we execute on our regional development plans and get even closer to our customers, while ensuring the operational benefits of a platform-based business.”