HBO seems to be test marketing a version of HBO GO in Scandinavia, but that’s not a real reason to get excited quite yet. The big news here is that HBO Nordic is not going to be locked to subscribers of the premium cable channel, the way it is here in the States.
The reasons for this are numerous, but the biggest catalyst is that Netflix is moving into the region on the same day, and it looks like HBO is planning to go head-to-head with them, using their library of shows as leverage. Scandinavia is a very small market in general, so the cable companies there don’t have the kind of hold they have in other parts of the world, and rights to shows and movies are much, much cheaper. To boot, this is also the first time HBO is launching as a premium channel in many of these new Scandinavian markets, so locking the streaming service to a cable subscription wouldn’t be a smart move .
Available at a price of “Under 10 Euros,” the streaming-only service certainly sounds like a great deal, just don’t expect to ever get away with that in North America. At least not yet.
Press Release follows:
HBO NORDIC TO LAUNCH MID-OCTOBER
The first HBO® branded service will be available in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark offering hit series like Boardwalk Empire℠, The Newsroom℠, Game of Thrones℠, True Blood℠, Veep℠, Girls℠ plus films, documentaries and much more.
Stockholm, August 30th, 2012 – HBO Nordic AB, the newly formed joint venture of Home Box Office, Inc. and Parsifal International, has announced that it will launch its linear and on-demand premium pay TV service mid-October 2012 in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
As the first HBO-branded service in the region, HBO Nordic will offer a premium, 24-hour, advertising-free channel. HBO will offer both subscription and transactional video-on-demand services, providing premium content directly to consumers via HBO Nordic’s untethered, “over-the-top” platform, hbonordic.com, and also via local distribution partners.
“We saw a rapid change in Nordic TV consumption these past years. Our target group is younger and more urban than the existing premium pay TV subscribers and they consume TV on multiple screens, particularly on computers, smartphones and tablets. Most of them associate HBO with best in class series. We view this as a unique opportunity for HBO to grow digital pay-TV subscriptions in the region”, says Hervé Payan, CEO of HBO Nordic.
HBO Nordic will offer subscribers all seasons and behind- the-scene materials of hit series, including Boardwalk Empire℠, The Newsroom℠, Game of Thrones℠, True Blood℠, Veep℠ and Girls℠, as well as classics like Sex and the City℠, The SopranosSM and The WireSM and new series premiering in the Nordics from other content providers including titles such as Magic City℠, Hit and Miss℠, Continuum℠, and Borgia. The HBO Nordic offering will also include feature films from major Hollywood and international studios, local distributors and independents.
“HBO Nordic is the first service in the Nordic countries to combine day-and-date delivery and streaming of the latest episodes of an HBO original series subtitled in the local language, with all past seasons. This service will be available on any internet connected device”, says Hervé Payan.
All programs will be available to subscribers for less than €10 via the network’s streaming service hbonordic.com.