Viaplay announce layoffs, US exit, focus on Nordic markets, consider sales – The Hollywood Reporter

Scandinavian streamer Viaplay on Thursday outlined plans to focus on its core markets in the Nordics and the Netherlands, including shutting down streaming services launched in the US, Canada and the UK and laying off more than 25 percent of its staff. The moves are part of broader cost-cutting efforts in light of various business challenges cited by Viaplay’s new CEO.

In addition, the company is evaluating various strategic options, including a possible sale.

Jorgen Madsen Lindemann, who replaced Anders Jensen as CEO of the pan-Nordic streaming group in June, recently warned that 2023 sales and profits would be well below previous forecasts and that cost cutting would be required. His team at the time also pulled out the company’s previously released full-year 2023 outlook after a review of its operations and performance.

Viaplay also said at the time that it would “take a wide range of actions to address the underlying deterioration in earnings,” including job and other cost cuts, renegotiating contracts with distributors, and a “review of international rather than core operations.” belonging assets.”

Viaplay’s CEO said in an update on Thursday: “Today we are announcing a new strategy and plan which includes, among other things, focusing on our core businesses in Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Viaplay Select (which provide a wide range of Viaplay ) includes series, films and documentaries about partners worldwide); Implementation of a new operating model; downsizing, partnership or exit from our other international markets; sizing and pricing our product offering in the Nordic countries; Implementation of a comprehensive cost reduction program; and conducting an immediate strategic review of the entire business to consider all options, including sub-licensing content, divesting assets, injecting capital, or selling the entire group.”

Emphasizing that the company is “moving quickly” to address various challenges, Lindemann said, “The content investments made are not all paying off and are binding in the short and medium term.” In addition, the pursuit of subscriber volume growth increased Loads of added value, especially when it comes to our partner agreements. The weakness of the advertising markets and exchange rates are other factors that we have to live with. International expansion assumptions, including profitability timelines, have also been pushed significantly into the future since the expansion began.”

The streaming service had ended 2022 with more than 7.3 million subscribers, of which 37 percent, or nearly 2.7 million, lived outside the Nordic countries, namely the Baltic countries, the UK, Poland and the Netherlands. Earlier this year, Viaplay debuted in the US, followed by a Canadian launch. But on Thursday, the company reported “higher losses in its international business compared to the previous quarter due to content investments we made, consolidation of the UK business and launches in North America.”

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