Netflix and HBO Duke It Out for Scandinavia

Netflix, HBOContinuing their world conquest for domination of screens everywhere, Netflix recently announced expansion into 4 Nordic countries: Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Not to be outdone, HBO, a unit of Time Warner Inc, said the following day that they too will be launching a video distribution venture — alongside Parsifal International — dubbed HBO Nordic.

Nordic consumers already have access to similar offerings from Amazon, Lovefilm and Acetrax, but the addition of Netflix and HBO will bring a plethora of great content that hasn’t been available through a streaming service to date.

Why the heated competition in the Nordic region? According to Nordstat, these countries have a fixed broadband household penetration of 80% to 92% — significantly higher than the EU average of 67%. They also represent a high level of mobile broadband users. More internet connectivity, in theory, should lead to higher availability of streaming services and presumably subscriptions.

It will be fun to watch as two sides of the content model duke it out. In the blue corner stands the reigning champion — HBO, the cable networks and content creators of yesteryear — who aren’t going to let anyone make a buck on their premium content. In the red corner stands the new distribution models — the Netflix’s of the world — who are scraping for every piece of content they can get their hands on (even if it means making their own). Let’s all hope that we, the consumers, come out on top after the bell rings!

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