Media subscription spend in Sweden continues to rise

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019
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Media subscription spend continues to rise

Consumers spend an increasing amount of money on media subscriptions and services each month. We’re currently seeing a development where subscription spend gradually gains in shares compared to costs for broadband and mobile access. Driven by high demand and a growing number of services, this development will likely continue.

As the digitalization relentlessly moves onward, consumers spend an increasing amount of money on subscription-based media services each month. This development has, for some time, exceeded the growth in spend for access services (eg broadband and mobile subscriptions). During 2018 the Swedish households spent on average SEK 1200 each month on media and access subscriptions combined. Media, including subscriptions to text, audio and video services, accounts for 36% of all subscription spend, after 5 years of consecutively faster growth vs access.

Average household media spend, subscriptions & access, Sweden, 15-74 y/o
Average household media spend, subscriptions and access - Sweden

The video segment (digital pay TV + SVOD), which has seen rapid and steady growth in the past years, continues to strengthen its position. Furthermore, several major actors are expected to enter the market in 2019. In the wake of video services, other forms of digital services such as audio and text subscriptions are seeing an upswing as well. Mediavision concludes that during the first quarter of 2019, 28% of Swedish households had at least one digital text subscription and 21% a digital audiobook subscription (15-74 y/o).

Yet another form of media which is picking up speed is podcasts; Egmont Publishing recently announced their entrance on the podcast market with a soon-to-be launched service called Talk Town. Egmont believes podcast listeners are susceptible to a paywall business model, something which other actors also are currently investigating. Also, music streaming giant Spotify has invested heavily in podcasts.

Mediavision expects digital media subscriptions and household spend to continue its upward trajectory during 2019. Meanwhile, there are external factors that may change the prospects. The market is volatile – since it’s entirely reliant on the households’ disposable income, subject to change by both macro and micro economic factors.