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  Amazon, Netflix

Netflix and... Thrill?

Over the past two years, Ampere Analysis has used its Analytics tool to identify genre changes in the catalogues of SVoD services. But are these changes aligned with the changes in consumer genre preferences? By comparing the percentage of our US respondents’ favourite genre between Q1 2016 and Q3 2017, we have also identified the change in SVoD subscribers’ tastes.

The greatest positive change was observed for the “Horror” and “Crime & Thriller” genres, now representing 19 per cent of the sample (up from 14.5 per cent), while “Comedy” has seen a decrease of 4.2 percentage points (dropping from 19.3 per cent to 15.1 per cent) in the number of respondents who selected it as their favourite genre. Looking at it from a scripted and non-scripted perspective (comedy is excluded from both groups as it can contain both forms) we have seen non-scripted genres (three out of four) feature more favourably since Q1 2016. 

Netflix has responded to the decline of comedy as a favourite genre by decreasing the proportion of its comedy catalogue, while Amazon has gone against the trend, increasing its number of comedy titles. The opposite is occurring with “Crime & Thriller” and “Horror” which are enjoying greater popularity amongst consumers; Netflix has cut titles falling under these genres, whereas Amazon has increased its "Horror" and "Crime & Thriller" titles. But, because Amazon has increased its overall library significantly over the same time period, the proportion of library represented by these two genres has remained static. In terms of the evolution of scripted vs non-scripted consumer preferences, Netflix has altered its catalogue more in line with the preference change, with an increase in non-scripted content. But the relationship can work both ways. Huge hit titles (such as House of Cards, Breaking Bad, Grand Tour etc.) can alter consumers’ preferences and interest in a particular genre meaning that the content changes seen on the two big platforms could drive some of the changes in preferences we have witnessed. Even so, neither platform is completely following the current evolution of content preferences. Simply put, it is not possible to please everyone and both platforms will be focussing on specific subscriber needs.