The Nordic VoD market is getting hotter as HBO confirms plans to launch a “multi-platform video distribution venture” the same day Netflix announced its planned Scandinavian service.
HBO has teamed up with digital entrepreneur Peter Ekelund and his Parsifal International for HBO Nordic, which will launch in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. Further details will be unveiled at the end of the month, HBO said.
As well as launching Absolut Vodka into the US and working for TetraPak Group, Ekelund has worked in European pay-TV for many years. He was MD of Filmnet in Belgium and Nethold in Holland, and later launched B2 Bredband in Sweden.
“HBO is entering into a new marketplace and a promising partnership with Parsifal International,” said Simon Sutton, president of HBO International. “We look forward to working with this innovative company and making our new venture a great success.” HBO already operates its HBO Go on-demand service in parts of Central and Eastern Europe.
The news came as Netflix yesterday unveiled its Nordic plans, saying it will roll out its streaming service in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland by the end of the year. This marks the second stage of the US firm’s European growth plans, after it debuted in the UK and Ireland in January.
The two US-based companies join local VoD players in the Nordic market, such as Voddler and Viaplay as well as Amazon-owned LoveFilm. Voddler yesterday told C21 it welcomed the arrival of new VoD players, claiming it will help to build an alternative to piracy.