nScreenMedia: ‘Frictionless’ approach gives Netflix 7 to 1 advantage in Scandinavia

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New analysis finds that outdated business models sank HBO Nordic’s chance for success.

According to new analysis from nScreenMedia, the leading analyst group covering media’s transition to multiscreen consumption models, the reason Netflix has a 29% penetration in Denmark, while HBO Nordic has just 4%, is that each service has radically different barriers to adoption. When the two services launched in October 2012, Netflix required subscribers to commit to pay just DKK79, while HBO Nordic required a commitment twelve times higher.

In the new free white paper, Winning and Retaining OTT Video Customers, nScreenMedia looks in detail at the launch of Netflix and HBO Nordic in Scandinavia to understand how the two services could achieve such different results.

“To understand the failure of HBO Nordic in Scandinavia, you must examine the emerging behavior of online video viewers,” said Colin Dixon, Founder and Chief Analyst of nScreenMedia. “In some respects, online viewers are like TV viewers, but in others, they are very different. HBO Nordic failed to appreciate these differences, leading to a spectacular flop.”

The white paper examines data which shows clearly that online video viewers simply refuse to be bound by the terms of traditional pay-TV. Any barrier placed in their path, such as a login or complicated user interface, increases the friction associated with the service. The higher the friction, the more likely a potential viewer is to move on to the next service. For example, many people wanted to watch the Sochi Olympics online. However, of the millions that started the login process with their operator, 50% gave up before they saw a single event.

The white paper looks at the conundrum faced by operators as they strive to lower the barriers for consumers to get the content they crave, while at the same time keeping the service profitable and secure. This is an area of specialization for the white paper sponsor, Vindicia. The company's CEO, Gene Hoffman remarked, "It’s tough to win and retain video customers online. The white paper shows that many of the traditional pay-TV approaches don’t work on the web. There are, however, proven strategies operators can take to address many of the known issues to effectively monetize digital content through customer-centric business models, driving higher acquisition and improved retention."

nScreenMedia’s white paper, Winning and Retaining OTT Video Customers, is available immediately for free from the nScreenMedia website.

About nScreenMedia:

nScreenMedia is dedicated to tracking the media industry as it transitions from single screen to nScreen delivery. The website, reports, and newsletters provide commentary on current events, links to deep analysis of market movements, coverage of the important conferences and shows in our business, and interviews and podcasts discussing events of our time. The site is a free resource to the industry.

Media Contact:
Colin Dixon
408 462 5934

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