HBO to Nordic regions: 'Winter is coming!'
"And by 'winter', we mean our 'stand-alone web-based video service'."
The Nordic region will be the first market in which HBO offers its programming via subscription, without the need to have a pre-existing pay-TV service. HBO Nordic will sell an internet-only video service in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland from mid-October. The monthly fee is said to be around €10.
The move means that HBO will compete directly with Netflix, which is expected to be launching its own streaming service in the same region. This will be the first time that the two companies have competed directly in a region over a web-based video service.
While some commentators have been quick to speculate on what the move could mean for HBO, a spokesperson stated that HBO Nordic does not reflect any further plans by the company in other regions:
Each market is unique, and HBO approaches each one with what we consider to believe the best business model specific to that territory.
HBO will also roll out a premium TV service in the same area, one that will include content from rival networks Stars and Showtime — neither of which have an international business presence.