9 APR 2024

The Nordics: Content spending growth, in an evolving landscape

Ampere Analysis’ Senior Analysts Peter Ingram and Maria Dunleavy described the company’s findings about one of Europe’s most mature TV and VOD markets.

9 APR 2024

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The Nordic region (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland) has a strong regional identity and significantly contributes to the European content landscape. In a recent webinar, Ampere Senior Analysts Peter Ingram and Maria Dunleavy discussed the company's regional TV and VOD market research.

Local broadcasters and streaming services spent 4.1 billion euros on content for Nordic audiences in 2023, only narrowly below Spain and Italy. Sweden, the largest Nordic market, accounted for 1.5 billion euros during 2023, 37% of the Nordic total. Denmark and Norway followed behind, accounting for almost 1 billion euros in spending. Finland is also a significant contributor to the regional landscape, with Iceland adding 40 million euros to the total expenditure.

Content spending in the region has been supported by a varied mix of local companies, with growth and expenditure across original programming, acquired titles, and sports rights in 2023, reaching around 40 % over the value achieved in 2019. Viaplay has historically led overall spending, exceeding 1 billion euros on content for Nordic viewers in 2023, followed by TV4 Media at 0.5 billion euros. Public service broadcasters have also been essential drivers of spend.Players like TV2 Denmark and TV2 Norway also contribute meaningfully to the sector, with fairly consistent spending over the recent historic period. However, while the market is led by local operators, global services, including Netflix and Disney+, are growing their Nordic footprint and investing heavily in programming to attract and retain new subscribers. That pressures local operators to keep high spending and focus on differentiated strategies to stand out.

Regarding Viaplay, sports rights account for 60% of content costs, with a substantial investment in original programming for its linear channels and streaming service. That differs from TV4 Media, which invests more in acquired content to populate its film thematic pay TV channels. TV2 Denmark has focused on complimenting Danish originals with acquired international titles, while fellow commercial broadcaster TV2 Norway has a more balanced strategy, with an equal focus across original commissions, acquisitions, and sports rights. Public broadcasters have prioritized original content, accounting for over 60% of spend by each during 2023. Finally, Netflix has an even split in spend across originals and acquisitions, while Disney+ has focused more on producing originals using its robust IP library.


According to Ampere Analysis, the Nordic OTT market is one of the most mature in the world. The region's average of between three and four connected homes paying for a streaming service leveled or exceeded most of the EU's big five markets.

The streaming giants make up 70% of streaming subscriptions, with the remaining 30% going to Nordic services such as Viaplay and local services like TVT Play in Norway and Denmark. At roughly 28 million subscriptions, almost a quarter goes to Netflix. Disney+ had a very successful launch in the region, and it's reached as many households as HBO Max, which itself has a long-standing history in the Nordic market, launching as HBO Nordic back in 2012.Subscription streaming has become more widespread than traditional TV services, but household penetration is also beginning to stagnate. Despite streaming services having cheaper and more accessible price points, with the volume of subscriptions, revenues are on track to surpass pay-TV revenues by 2028.

As OTT grows further from pay TV, local broadcasters are being forced to adapt their strategies to tackle these new challenges posed by major foreign streamers in order to keep a mature audience engaged with their services. Ampere Analysis set 2028 as the year when all these strategies will see if they have been successful or if this global trend will also take over the region.

By Federico Martinez