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Why are Nordic OTT providers going local?

Content spend on originals has increased while acquisition investment decreased

Ampere Analysis has found a trend for Nordic OTT providers shifting focus to locally produced originals in order to compete with Netflix.

Nordic content spend on originals has risen from 49 per cent in 2012 to 57 per cent in 2018, while investment in acquired TV and film content has dropped from 51 per cent to 43 per cent in the same time period.

Netflix has been the driving force in the region’s OTT market with around 4.5 million subscribers, though only three per cent of Swedish Netflix titles are local; by comparison, 47 per cent of CMore and 13 per cent of Viaplay’s catalogue is locally produced.

Ampere also noted the global success of locally co-produced shows, such as Bron (The Bridge), leading to the creation of the ‘Nordic 12’ initiative, through which public broadcasters DR, NRK, SVT, YLE and Iceland’s RÚV co-produce content and retain exclusive domestic 12-month linear and digital rights to 12 shows each year.

“Across the globe we’re seeing local TV groups trying to take on the power of the global streaming services by capitalising on whichever gaps in the market exist,” said Ampere Analysis analyst Léa Cunat. “In the case of the Nordics, that means ramping up investment in originated content, either individually or as part of partnerships like Nordic 12 to win audiences’ loyalty in both local and international markets.”