Emboldened by its successful launch in the UK and Ireland, Netflix has set its sights to the north and east in Europe. The company announced today that it will be launching operations in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland this year.
Netflix faces a variety of competitors in the Scandinavian streaming market, including Lovefilm, Bonnier’s SF Anytime, Viasat’s Viaplay and SVT Player.
IHS Screen Digest analyzed the situation thusly:
“Competing with an entrenched array of existing incumbent players will generate additional costs for Netflix, particularly if the service provider decides to ink deals for the best movie and international TV rights . . . Sweden presents an attractive market for Netflix, with high GDP, developed broadband infrastructure and positive consumer attitudes to using legal online video services . . . Viaplay has deals with all major international and local distributers. Importantly, many of the incumbent Swedish online video providers already distribute premium video content directly to different connected living room devices (TVs, Blu ray players, game consoles, etc) – traditionally Netflix’s strength.”
Clearly Netflix thinks it can overcome these considerable hurdles and run a profitable business in northern Europe. Is it right?