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Viaplay CEO Anders Jensen resigns as weak ad market and slowing subscriptions hit Nordic streamer

Viaplay CEO Anders Jensen has resigned after the Nordic streaming group announced a downgrade of its short-term outlook for 2023 and withdrew its long term guidance.

Jorgen Madsen Lindemann has been named as the new CEO of Viaplay Group with immediate effect. He is the former CEO of MTG, which is the previous parent company of Viaplay Group.

Viaplay said that advertising revenues are expected to be down between 12% and 16% in the second quarter of 2023, citing a ”sharp and rapid deterioration in the TV and radio advertising markets.”

It also said that the rising cost of living has resulted in lower demand in the Nordic and international markets for its streaming service, as well as higher churn levels following price increases. A slower delivery of cost savings programmes as well as  foreign exchange volatility have also added to pressures for Viaplay.

The group said it expects to register 7.7 million Viaplay subscribers by the end of the second quarter, and sales of between £334m (SEK 4.5bn) and £341m (SEK 4.6bn) and Q2 EBIT of between -£18.6m (SEK -250m) and £22.26m (SEK-300m).

After a period of rapid expansion, Viaplay’s streaming service has a presence in 13 countries, including the UK, US and Canada, and produces more than 130 original series and films a year. Its slate includes Danish crime drama Trom and Those Who Kill; Norway’s Furia; and London-set Swedish relationship drama Threesome.

Viaplay chair Pernille Erenbjerg said: “The outlook for the markets in which we are operating has shifted considerably and at a very rapid pace, and the execution of cost savings programmes has not been mitigating the effects from these conditions to a sufficient extent. The impact of the macroeconomic headwinds on the business require that we execute differently on our strategy.“

Jensen: “It has been a privilege and an honour to be on the team making Viaplay Group into the forward leaning and future focused company that it is today. I remain confident of the success that lies ahead for the company. But I also feel that, in the light of current challenges, the company is best served if I step down, and I have therefore decided to do so. I wish the company and the team the very best in the future.”

An update on Viaplay’s medium term outlook is expected to be provided with the publication of the Group’s Q2 results on 20 July 2023.

Source: Screen Daily

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