25 OCT 2021

Interest for HBO boosted in the Nordics as HBO Nordic becomes HBO Max

Thanks to factors such as the new and lower price, the broader offer of content and technical improvements, the interest in the not-yet-launched service HBO Max is substantial in the Nordics, according to Mediavision.

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On October 26, HBO Nordic will be replaced by HBO Max. According to the owner WarnerMedia, the service will be both broader and better than before, which means more content and more genres at a lower price. Mediavision’s latest analysis, based on new Nordic data, shows a boosted interest for HBO in the Nordics as Max launches.

The interest in the not-yet-launched service HBO Max is substantial in the region. The majority of households that plan to purchase HBO Max already have at least one video streaming service. This implies that HBO Max will drive stacking rather than overall household penetration – similar to how Disney+ entered the Nordics just over a year ago. Since then, Disney+ has managed to add over 1.6 million Nordic households in less than one year – on a market with saturated household penetration.

This is positive news for WarnerMedia, especially since the past year has been somewhat challenging for Max’s predecessor HBO Nordic. According to Mediavision’s analysis, 1.9 million Nordic households subscribed to HBO Nordic spring 2020. Since then, the service has lost approximately 145.000 subscribing households – during a period when the pandemic spurred growth for other major streaming services. The overall growth on the SVOD market since spring 2020 is approximately 3 million new subscriptions.

The interest in HBO is boosted by a combination of factors, starting with the new and lower price. An HBO Max subscription will be €8.90 per month – compared to €10.95 for HBO Nordic today. At launch, current subscribers to HBO Nordic are eligible to a launch offer: full year for €69.99. This puts HBO Max at the lower end of SVOD pricing in the Nordics. Only Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video offers subscriptions at a lower price.

Furthermore, HBO Max has one subscription tier, allowing three simultaneous streams (versus two for the current HBO Nordic). To access Netflix’s top tier (four simultaneous streams) the price is €15.99 per month – strengthening HBO’s pricing power even further.

Moreover, the launch of HBO Max will bring a whole new set of series and movies to the service, including DC Comics, Cartoon Networks, and the original HBO Max content. The first announced local original is the Swedish comedy drama “Lust,” and there is more to come, according to the company. The “old” HBO Nordic has presented a few Nordic originals, among those “Björnstad,” “Kamikaze,” “Welcome to Utmark,” and “At Home/Eristyksissä”.

In addition, HBO Max will entail substantial improvements to technical aspects of the service. This includes an overall improvement of user experience and the possibility to create individual profiles, as well as usage of the service on an unlimited number of devices. This is a lot more generous compared to today’s HBO Nordic.

HBO Max launched in the United States in May 2020 and the international rollout began in June the same year. Combined, the HBO Max and HBO streaming services have amassed a total of 69.4 million subscribers globally since then. In the third quarter of 2021, total number of global subscribers increased by 12.5 million compared to the same period in 2020. On October 26, HBO Max will launch in six European countries (the Nordics being four of these), and 14 additional territories will be added in 2022.