Viaplay Studios Confirms ‘Single-Digit’ Layoffs; Merges Swedish, Norwegian Units Into Viaplay Studios Nordics, Headed by ‘The Wave’ Producer

Days before Viaplay issued a warning over its second-quarter results, the listed Scandinavian streaming giant told employees on June 1 in an internal memo that it would merge the Swedish and Norwegian units of its production arm, Viaplay Studios, into a new entity, effective immediately.

The new umbrella, named Viaplay Studios Nordics, is headed by Ørjan Karlsen, the producer of “The Wave,” who was previously CEO of Viaplay Studios Norway. Under the strategic move, Alexander Tanno, who headed Viaplay Studios Sweden, has left the company, Variety has confirmed. The company also proceeded with layoffs, representing a “single-digit cut,” according to a source close to the company.

On June 8, Viaplay announced that its short-term outlook for 2023 was down. Viaplay said it expects to close the second quarter with 7.7 million subscribers, with sales between $414 million and $395 million; and a negative EBIT between $23 million and $27 million. Advertising revenues are expected to be down between 12% and 16% on an organic basis during the second quarter, due to the rapid deterioration in the TV and radio advertising markets.

Along with the financial news, Viaplay also announced that CEO Anders Jensen was stepping down from his position, and was replaced by Jorgen Madsen Lindemann. Jensen had been credited for spearheading the streamer’s global roll-out, including in the U.S., and ramped up the output of scripted and unscripted originals.

While the company anticipates an economic downturn, it has not canceled shows or announced that it was pulling out of originals. Viaplay Studios recently announced a first raft of deals for its ambitious action drama film “Stockholm Bloodbath” directed by Mikael Håfström. The movie marks the streamer’s second English-language production, following Lasse Hallström’s “Hilma.”

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