Prime Video Nordics Buys Nine Viaplay Originals That Were Previously Set For Rival Service

Prime Video Nordics has swooped to acquire nine scripted originals from Viaplay, which abandoned its high-end scripted commissioning drive last year.

The titles will now launch on Prime Video following the agreement, which Martin Backlund, Managing Director of Prime Video Nordics, called a “landmark deal.”

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The shows comprise Bullshit, The Commoner, The Fortress, In the Name of Love, Jana – Marked for Life, Paradis City, Solo/Dancing Alone, Furia Season Two and Those Who Kill Season Four. We told you about several of them last year, when Viaplay was pushing ahead with an aggressive scripted originals strategy that was later scrapped.

Also included are library titles such as Couple Trouble, Furia Season One, Hammarvik, Honour and Occupied. This part of the agreement is non-exclusive and the shows will appear on both services.

The Nordics were recently identified as one of several European territories where Prime Video can grow, and was placed in the ‘EU Emerging’ cluster in the international restructure we first told you about last month. It has been ordering unscripted shows, and this now marks one of its biggest plays in the local scripted market.

“This landmark deal with Viaplay aligns with our long-term strategy to invest in Prime Video Nordics, solidifying it as a premier entertainment destination,” said Martin Backlund. “Combined with our Nordisk Film partnership, where we’re delivering the finest Nordic movies, we are now reinforcing our ongoing commitment to local content in the region.”

“We’re excited to add these locally produced Original TV series by the best Nordic creators and featuring highly popular Nordic talent to our slate,” said Andreas Hjertø, Head of Content, Prime Video Nordics.  “We are constantly evolving and improving our selection of great series and movies, and we’re looking forward to delighting our customers with these fantastic titles.”

This comes as Viaplay moves away from high-end drama following the collapse of the streamer’s business model last year. After a round of redundancies and restructuring, a recapitalization plan was agreed.

The streamer has moved away from costly originals, with CEO Jørgen Madsen Lindemann saying “we have too much scripted content” when he replaced Anders Jensen last year. It has since pulled out of the UK, U.S. and other non-core territories and sold CEE producer Paprika Studios.

In a statement issued to Deadline, Viaplay said: “This partnership with Amazon Prime Video is for selected shows and is in line with Viaplay Group’s refocused overall content strategy, which prioritises local unscripted content and acquired films and series.

“This content strategy is positive for both viewers and partners. It matches our viewers’ interests, since local unscripted content and acquired films and series account for more than 90% of non-sports Viaplay viewing, and we will now have a stronger offering in these areas.

“We will also still have some local scripted titles each year that we will be able to support much better than previously. Our original scripted output has been higher than most other streaming platforms, so reducing our output and selling or licensing selected titles makes sense.

“At the same time, this refocused content strategy makes financial sense for Viaplay, since original scripted content previously represented 29% of our non-sports content costs, and we always aim to invest in entertainment that is as impactful as possible in our specific markets.

“The titles included in the partnership are a good fit for a service like Amazon Prime Video that already carries a large amount of original scripted content. This deal will also help us monetise our investment, which is important in allowing us to continue bringing our audiences attractive content in the years to come.”

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