Internet users in the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden have dramatically increased their consumption of over the top (OTT) entertainment video, and Netflix appears to be driving most of the growth.
Across the four nations, visits to websites offering films and other video content for sale grew 190 percent between June 2012 and June 2013, according to comScore Media Metrix.
In mid-2013, Denmark boasted the largest number of Web users in the region going to retail movie sites, according to comScore (News - Alert).
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But the smallest markets demonstrated the fastest growth during the year. Finland usage grew 271 percent while Norwegian consumers boosted consumption 981 percent.
Netflix launched in the Nordic region in October 2012 offered an estimated 10 million broadband homes in the region direct access to movies and TV shows from U.S., European and national broadcasters and film studios.
Subscribers also can watch Netflix content on devices such as smart TVs, Blu-ray players, tablets and smart phones. By June 2013, Netflix reached 1.5 million internet users in the Nordics, comScore says.
Netflix and HBO launched streaming services in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland in October 2012. So far, Netflix seems to have gained the most traction, while spurring ISPs to counterattack with services of their own.
As always, stakeholders will watch closely for any signs that cable and satellite distribution is being harmed by new over the top efforts.
“So far, we haven't seen any degradation in audience from content that we've given to the SVOD window,” said David M. Zaslav, Discovery Communications’ chief executive officer.
But it is a complicated ecosystem. One way of evaluating OTT video is to compare revenue and usage to revenue and usage for subscription video services. So far, Netflix is mostly complementary to video services. That is good for content owners and distributors.
Another way is to compare OTT video to packaged media, such as sales and rentals of DVDs. There the news is not so good for content owners, mostly because gross revenue from a DVD sale is higher than for an online view.
For example, average prices for video on demand views of content are four to nine times lower than the average DVD price for the same content. That explains the caution content owners have about making too quick a jump on online delivery.
Edited by Alisen Downey
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