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HBO’s no-cable experiment goes nowhere: Netflix handily beats HBO Nordic in Sweden

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Remember HBO Nordic? The Northern European offspring made some headlines when it debuted last year, primarily because it marks the first time that HBO has sold a subscription to its programming without tying it to a pay TV service. At the time, some speculated that this could be a blueprint for an online-only HBO service in the United States.

Well, don’t hold your breath: HBO Nordic doesn’t seem to be doing so well, at least according to a recent MMS consumer survey. That survey found that in Sweden, only 68,000 people have access to HBO Nordic, which makes it one of the least popular paid video services (hat tip to Broadband TV News). According to the survey, only 17,000 people access HBO Nordic every day.

Netflix, on the other hand, is available to 864,000 Swedes, and 308,000 use it every day, both of which makes it the most popular paid video service in Sweden. Netflix is competing with services like Viaplay, the Modern Times Group’s online video service, which is available to 633,000 people in Sweden, according to MMS.

Bad news for HBO is good news for Netflix, as it looks like the company’s international expansion is working, at least outside of Latin America. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said during a recent earnings call that he eventually wants to generate 70 to 80 percent of his company’s revenue in international markets.

6 Responses to “HBO’s no-cable experiment goes nowhere: Netflix handily beats HBO Nordic in Sweden”

  1. In addition to the price/packaging issues, HBO clearly overestimated thier brand recogniton in a market where there is no HBO channel. They seem to be addressing this in a very aggressive campaign focusing on the “strength” of catalog. Clearly not a strong start, but the race is far from over and they may well still recover despite their early missteps.

  2. WalleyedWillie

    What does “have access to” and “available to” mean? Is that the number of people who have subscribed? Moreover, unless the numbers come from the companies themselves, these are estimates based on a representative sample, right? I’m not questioning whether Netflix has far more subscribers than HBO Nordic, I just wish the wording was clearer.

  3. HBO really, really screwed up the launch in Sweden. When Netflix had month long contract, HBO had a year! They got a lot off shit for that and finally the gave in and offered a month long contract. But that was horribly overpriced. Finally they have now decreases the price on the month long contract, matching Netflix, and removed the year long contract.