Paramount Home Media Distribution International and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment International have entered into a partnership covering the four Nordic markets Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. With effect from 1 July 2013, a new joint venture company called Fox Paramount Home Entertainment will distribute all home entertainment products from both studios in the region. The new company will be based in Stockholm, Sweden, with local sales offices in Denmark, Norway and Finland.
Separately, Swedish independent distributor Soul Media has acquired veteran Nordic film distributor Sandrew Metronome. In Sweden, the company will now operate under the name Soul Media. In Denmark and Finland, Soul Media will work through local partners DVS Entertainment and VLMedia Oy respectively.
Move follows the recently announced partnership between Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures, also in the Nordics. In line with current move by Paramount and Fox, this partnership will also result in the forming of a new joint venture company, called Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Nordic AB, which will handle home video operations from both studios as of 1 August 2013.
Consolidation in the market affects not only the big US studios but also local players. Thus, Soul Media's acquisition of Sandrew Metronome follows the recent acquisition of Swedish distributor Nobel Entertainment by Danish distributors Star Media Entertainment and Mis. Label.
IHS Screen Digest has long predicted further studio rationalisation in international markets. The last few years have seen Universal and Paramount partner over Spain and Italy (2010), Universal and Fox in Russia and New Zealand (2011), Paramount and Universal in Benelux and Mexico (2011), and finally Sony and Universal in Australia (2011). After this latest bout of Nordic studio deals, the big US studios are now only retaining local opcos in the UK, Germany and France.