Netflix and its plethora of digital video content continue to captivate audiences across Scandinavia. This is especially true for Sweden, which ranks among the countries with the highest subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) rates worldwide. A recent survey revealed that the SVOD penetration rate in Sweden stood at over 60 percent in 2022, and when asked which service viewers used to watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters or to binge their favorite TV shows, nearly 80 percent of respondents listed Netflix. There is no denying that Netflix has disrupted and transformed the SVOD market in Sweden since its launch in 2012. But despite all that, the recent influx of international and local competitors continues to chip away at the streaming champion’s pole position more noticeably each year.
Netflix stays atop the Swedish streaming charts – for now
With over 1.7 million subscribers and a daily reach of around 33 percent, Netflix remains the most popular SVOD platform in Sweden. The global streaming giant has dominated the Swedish home entertainment landscape for more than a decade, and in 2021, the company ramped up efforts in the highly competitive market by opening its first Nordics hub in Stockholm. Prior to that, Netflix had reported its first subscriber loss in Sweden in over 10 years. Survey findings further indicated that the cancellation rate of Netflix subscriptions in the Nordics ranged between 11 and 16 percent across Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway in mid-2022, with one driving factor being the service’s cost. Sweden currently ranks among the countries with the most expensive Netflix subscription costs worldwide at nearly 10.50 U.S. dollars, though only half of all surveyed subscribers believed that Netflix offers good value for money.
Competitors challenge Netflix’s dominance from two directions
Despite Netflix’s long-standing presence and popularity, the service increasingly struggles to maintain its monopoly over Scandinavia’s streaming scene. Data showed that the market share of Netflix in the Nordic countries has shrunk by nearly 50 percent since 2013, with new or revamped services challenging its dominance more successfully each year. One of Netflix’s most prominent challengers in the Nordics is Disney+, which entered the Swedish streaming market in 2020 and has attracted more than 600,000 subscribing households in just over two years. HBO Max, which replaced HBO Nordic in 2021, is also growing in popularity across Sweden. But not only U.S.-based streaming giants are claiming larger slices of the Swedish SVOD pie. Local providers also continuously expand their audience size and influence, and some (including Viaplay) even make their mark beyond Scandinavia.
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