26/10/2021 - PETER INGRAM
Horror at Halloween: Amazon leads the market, but has slashed total hours

As Halloween draws nearer, subscription video on demand (SVoD) services are mining their catalogues for terrifying tricks and treats. For US audiences seeking scares in 2021, Amazon is currently the leading service for Horror TV and films with 664 hours of content.

Amazon’s catalogue accounts for more than a quarter of all Horror content currently available to stream in the US. This is a significant lead compared to rival Netflix (whose Horror catalogue accounts for just 16% of available hours) and dedicated platform Shudder (which accounts for just 12% of content hours).

However, while Amazon still leads the market, this is a very different picture to Halloween 2020, when its catalogue contained over 2800 hours of Horror programming, and accounted for 62% of total hours available in the US. This heavy decline has been caused by Amazon pulling back on acquiring a large back-catalogue of lower value film and TV content, and focusing instead on a smaller, curated and higher value title list.

Other platforms have taken advantage of Amazon’s weaker offering to heavily promote their own Horror catalogues over the Halloween season in an effort to drive up service engagement among Horror's growing army of fans. Netflix launched a “Netflix and Chills” horror-themed advertising campaign, while Shudder began a 61 Days of Halloween digital festival, finishing on October 31st. Unless Amazon reanimates its broader content strategy, services such as these are likely to overtake the incumbent market leader for creepy content, and will create a new Horror landscape by Halloween 2022.

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