Declining subscriber numbers, slowing revenue growth, market saturation and an impending recession—sounds like the plot of “Nightmare on Streamer Street,” but it is the reality facing the various players in streaming TV. As major platforms seek relief from a sinister year, the likes of Michael Myers, Pinhead and Chucky may serve as unlikely heroes.
Hulu, Peacock and Shudder, among others, have ramped up their efforts around the spooky season with in-app hubs that serve up interactive playlists of frightful content. The horror-off is meant not only as a subscriber pull, but also a way to usher in holiday shopping ads—which traditionally began to spike around Thankgiving and Black Friday—earlier than ever.
Kicking off year-end commerce, “Halloween becomes a much bigger play because it is the content, the sponsorship opportunity, that leads into shopping season,” one media buyer told Ad Age. “It’s a prelude leading into shopping as people shop earlier and earlier for the holidays.”
Another buyer said that streamers “struggling to grow their audiences” are wise to focus on Halloween, given that “one of the ways of [attracting viewers], at least historically, has been to do some good holiday stuff—it breaks out and it’s a little bit more noticeable.”