Viaplay paying subscribers grow by 60%, launches on Roku in UK, US and Canada

Streaming service Viaplay’s global paying subscribers grew by 60% in the year to March, rising to 7.643 million at the end of the first quarter.

The company added 325,000 new subscribers in the traditionally quiet first quarter.

The company recorded organic sales growth of over 30% for the first quarter, with net sales of SEK4.537 billion.

Viaplay Nordic revenues, representing 37% of group revenues, were up 36% year on year on an organic basis, while international revenues were up sevenfold and accounted for 15% of Group revenues, compared with 3% in Q1 last year.

While subscription revenue grew by 11% and represents 29% of total saales, advertising revenue, representing 19% of sales, was down 2% due to economic conditions.

Viaplay reported an operating loss of SEK291 million before associated company income and items affecting comparability, up from the SEK49 million loss for the same period last year. Operating income after associated company income and items affecting comparability was negative SEK325 million, down from the loss of SEK605 million recorded last year.

Losses from the international business accrued from the acquisition of Polish Formula 1 rights, the launch of Viaplay in the US and Canada, the scaling-up of our UK operations and the Polish and Dutch ARPU mix.

Viaplay’s results come as launches of its streaming offering in the US and Canada and launches of the Viaplay Select offering for broadband partners launch in Canada, Austria and Germany, taking the overall footprint of the brand to 33 countries.

Viaplay now has over 2.9 million subscribers in the international markets where the service is available, up 140% year-on-year. President and CEO Anders Jensen said that it was on track to hit four million international subscribers by the end of the year.

Viaplay also added 113,000 Viaplay subscribers in the Nordics in Q1, which is line with its ambition to add 400m000 new subscribers in 2023 and reach a year-end target of five million subscribers.

Jensen said that Viaplay had adjusted prices in “almost all markets” but that churn levels remain stable.

The company’s guidance for the full-year remains unchanged.

Separately, Viaplay has signed a new deal with Roku that makes the Viaplay streaming service available for subscription through Roku devices in the US, Canada and the UK.

In December, Viaplay Group and Roku announced an agreement to add Viaplay to The Roku Channel’s premium subscriptions line-up in the US.

Vanda Rapti, Viaplay Group EVP and chief commercial officer, North America and Viaplay Select, said: “This multi-year partnership makes it even easier for audiences in Viaplay’s three newest markets to subscribe to our unique service. Roku has outstanding reach and brand recognition among viewers. Launching on Roku devices will bring Viaplay directly to many more fans of top-quality international storytelling – both those who love Nordic Noir and those who just don’t know it yet – and to sports supporters across the UK.”

from Digital TV Europe – For the latest news about the business of broadband and Pay TV