Norwegian TV series are gaining ground in global popularity

12 July, 2018

Image: SKAM, NRK

The global television production and consumption landscape has shifted dramatically in the last decade. Content consumption that is forever locked to one specific territory has become a relic of a rapidly fading past as the world accelerates into a dynamic, global, interactive and increasingly consumer-driven marketplace where anyone, anywhere can decide what they want to watch and on which platform. And unfortunately, some of this consumption is happening illegally, on the back of bootlegged and subtitled versions of the original content.

Producers of television content are finding themselves continuously adapting how they ensure their shows gain maximum (commercial) traction and engagement amongst audiences.

Let’s start our TV market snapshot of Norway with the one breakout teen drama that has broken the mold even based on international standards, having garnered considerable demand both domestically in Norway, as well as globally.

The Skam success story

Skam (Shame) is a highly relatable teen drama that depicts the daily life and struggles of a group of teenagers from an elite school in the wealthy borough of Frogner in West End Oslo in a refreshingly honest, funny and relevant way. The show took off shortly after first airing in the fall of 2015 and it has since never looked back.

Audience demand has surged, at first nationally and then globally, as the unique distribution strategy of the traditionally delayed weekly episodes were coupled with daily episode-relevant clips released online through social networking platforms. The lines of distinction between the fictional world portrayed on screen and the real world inhabited by the show’s audience was further blurred by having the characters on the show set up and engage on real social networking platforms – particularly Instagram.

Russia, the U.S. and Brazil – three of the biggest television markets in the world – have all expressed high demand for the show making Skam a truly global hit; the following chart reveals Skam’s continued global success:

NRK’s novel audience engagement strategy has paid off, as can be evidenced by the series’ growth and also the fact that Facebook Watch has secured the show rights for the US.

Okkupert poised for global popularity breakthrough

Another Norwegian show that has begun the migration from the local market to an appreciative global audience is Okkupert (Occupied) – a near-future based geopolitical thriller depicting a “Silk Glove” occupation of Norway by Russia. This occupation has come in a bid to secure and start independent oil production to remedy a recent oil crisis in Europe due to disruption in the Middle Eastern oil supply, a newly energy independent USA, and the unprecedented rise to power of the Green Party in Norway.

Our global TV demand data shows that France, The Netherlands and the US markets all indicate noteworthy demand for this title, making it one to watch:

Currently Okkupert is available as part of the ViaPlay SVOD platform as a series exclusive in parts of Scandinavia and on streaming platform Netflix in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, India, Canada, Belgium, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands.

Salacious reality series Paradise Hotel Norway is a domestic hit

Not all shows manage to cross the threshold from domestic hit to global phenomenon, however, and Paradise Hotel Norway is one such example as the following chart shows:

The reality show – initially an import from the original US show – plays on the voyeuristic appeal of young, attractive singles in a luxurious setting pitted against each other to become and remain the center of the shows’ attention via any means possible – sex, seduction, confrontation, and more are all on the cards.

Audience demand for this title on the global stage, however, remains tepid and it seems unlikely that this show will follow the hit-trajectory set by Skam and Okkupert.

The top five English language originals in Norway

Let us now continue to leverage our global TV demand data, powered by our Demand Expressions metric, to reveal the most popular English language TV series amongst Norwegian viewers across all platforms. 

The Walking Dead comes out on top with 672.3K average daily Demand Expressions (DEX), which represent the weighted average audience demand across a multitude of platforms including social media, video streaming, photo sharing, blogging and micro blogging, fan and critic rating platforms, peer to peer protocols and file sharing sites.

Vikings continues to hold considerable appeal amongst its Norwegian fans with 427.1K avg. daily DEX even as the show has released its 5th season in January of this year. America’s Funniest Home Videos, Game of Thrones and Grey’s Anatomy also ranked in the top 5 – there are no real surprises here and we have recently named America’s Funniest the world’s most popular reality title. 

The top 5 Digital Originals (SVOD-first releases) in Norway

Stranger Things has continued its global trend as an international super tv sensation by garnering the most demand amongst Norwegian audiences with 156.7K daily DEX. This was enough for it to edge ahead of the 2nd most popular SVOD / OTT title, 13 Reasons Why, which ended up with a daily DEX average of 148.6K, as seen in the below chart:

Not far behind it is Hulu’s critically acclaimed The Handmaid’s Tale in third place and closing out the group were Amazon’s The Grand Tour and CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery, respectively.

Sitcom is the most prevalent sub-genre in Norway

Norwegian’s overall viewing preferences according to our title sub-genre aggregation reveals that Sitcom was the most popular followed by the three Drama variants – Crime, Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

Superhero series also proved a fan favorite ranking as the 5th most in-demand sub-genre giving credence to the burgeoning popularity of superhero-based series’ emerging from the Marvel and DC Comics universes. 

A new standard in global cross-platform TV consumption demand measurement

Norway has provided an impressive example of how well produced, ingeniously marketed and cleverly written locally produced television shows are now able to transgress the outdated constraints of geo-specific regulations, language barriers and restricted access to foreign markets.

Local breakout hits like Skam are poised, now more than any other time in mass media history, to quickly penetrate massive global markets and thrill audiences around the world on multiple viewing and engagement platforms. Keeping our finger on the pulse and offering data-driven insights and analysis of it all is Parrot Analytics – powering the TV industry today and into the future!

For more information about trends in Norway, reach out to Parrot Analytics for a live demonstration our Demand Portal, or watch our latest product video.

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