Nordic streamer Viaplay has announced the resignation of CEO Anders Jensen and downgraded its outlook for 2023 amid a challenging economic environment.
Jensen has been replaced by Jorgen Madsen Lindemann as the new CEO of Viaplay Group with immediate effect. Lindemann is the former CEO of MTG, the previous parent company of Viaplay Group.
In a statement, Viaplay said that advertising revenues are expected to be down between 12% and 16% in the second quarter of 2023, due to a sharp and rapid deterioration in the TV and radio advertising markets.
Viaplay also said that the rising cost of living is resulting in lower D2C streaming and wholesale linear subscription sales, as well as higher churn levels following price increases.
Viaplay also blamed the slower delivery of cost savings programmes and foreign exchange headwinds for the slowdown.
The group expects to register 7.7 million Viaplay subscribers by the end of the second quarter, and sales of between £334-341 million (SEK 4.5-4.6 billion) and EBIT of between -£18.6-£22.26 million (SEK -250 to -300 million).
Viaplay’s streaming service is available direct-to-consumer in every Nordic and Baltic country, Poland, the Netherlands, the UK, the US and Canada.
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. With more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry and leading Nordic and International businesses, we are confident that Jorgen has the right profile to lead this work. The overall strategic direction of the company is unchanged and Jorgen, together with the Board and his leadership team, will evaluate the need for structural, operational, and capital allocation enhancements to the delivery of the strategy.
She added: “Anders Jensen has been the CEO of Viaplay Group since it was formed as an independent company in 2018, and has led the achievement of significant milestones for the Group, including the development of our unique content offerings. On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Anders and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours. “
Jensen said: “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.”
Lindemann said: “I know Viaplay Group well, and have of course followed the company’s journey closely over the years. I am passionate about the Group’s tremendous potential. I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to be part of leading Viaplay Group through the currently challenging times, and delivering on the next phase of its development.”