Viaplay does not plan to introduce a cheaper subscription, where viewers will see ads from time to time. Netflix and Disney + are working on such cheaper subscriptions, and Videoland has for some time offered such an affordable option. “We currently see no need for a cheaper subscription with ads. Such a different price can create confusion among consumers about the value of our service. I do not know if we will ever offer this,” said Viaplay CEO Anders Jensen after the publication. of the quarterly figures.
The Swedish company says it is ahead of its plans. In the second quarter, Viaplay added 766,000 new subscribers, of which 307,000 were in countries outside Scandinavia. In the first quarter, growth was still at 778,000 subscribers. ‘About half’ of the international customers now come from the Netherlands. “We are in good shape in the Netherlands,” Jensen said.
In total, Viaplay has 5.5 million subscribers in eleven countries. The company is increasing its target for the end of this year from 7.0 to 7.3 million subscribers. In 2023, Viaplay expects ‘large profit growth’.
The price rises in August
The streaming service was launched in the Netherlands in March. In particular, the Formula 1 broadcasts gave Viaplay hundreds of thousands of new subscribers. The question is how many Dutch people will keep their subscription, because the service will be more expensive from August. The monthly price is increased from 10 euros to 14 euros per month.
Password sharing ‘no big deal’
Unlike Netflix, Viaplay says it’s not worried about subscribers sharing passwords. “It’s not a big problem for us. We accept that it happens. But we want to keep our service as user-friendly as possible. We know the percentage of people who share their password and to get more revenue from it group, it may not be worth the effort, “says Jensen.
Netflix recently began charging an extra amount per month in the first countries from customers who have shared their account with others outside their household. Jensen: “It may be different for other streaming services, but we are active in countries where it does not have to be a problem.”
Complaints from Dutch Formula 1 viewers
Despite complaints from Dutch viewers about the quality of streams, Viaplay says their platform ‘works well’. Jensen acknowledges, however, that the streaming service has not yet lived up to the expectations of some of the users. “It takes time to move people from linear TV channels to a streaming service. Some techniques are still evolving. We do our best to help dissatisfied customers improve their viewing experience.”
Viaplay said in July that Dutch customers entitled to this will start compensating.
‘The majority is satisfied’
According to Jensen, the complaints are mainly about streaming live broadcasts to television. “There may be several technical reasons for this. Some of them are completely beyond our own control, but of course the customer does not care. We want to live up to expectations.”
Viaplay also broadcasts Formula 1 in the Netherlands via special TV channels with the major providers. These companies will definitely continue to offer these channels until December,
Jensen says that ‘the vast majority’ of Dutch customers are very satisfied. “Only a small proportion of customers are dissatisfied, but their criticism is very high. We understand that and we are working to resolve everything.”
UK launch this autumn
In August, Viaplay will start broadcasting the English football competitions Premier League and Championship in the Netherlands. In recent years, Ziggo owned these broadcasting rights. Viaplay also says that they are working on new documentaries about Max Verstappen and the Norwegian star football player Erling Haaland.
In addition, the Swedish company announced today that it is acquiring the British streaming company Premier Sports. Premier Sports, which has 222,000 subscribers, owns the broadcasting rights to the Spanish football league La Liga in the UK. The acquisition can be completed in September. Viaplay plans to launch its streaming service in the UK this autumn.
Tonie van Ringelestine