The numbers war rages between Middle-earth and Westeros. But as fantastic as they seem, they raise questions.
With “25 million people around the world having watched The Rings of Power the day of its release (September 1 in the United States and September 2 in Belgium), the Amazon group, owner of Prime Video, announced that this is the best start recorded by one of its series.
With this prequel to Lord of the RingsPrime Video challenges HBO and its prequel to the cult series Game Of Thrones, House of the Dragon, which began airing on August 21. HBO also assured that it was its best launch, with nearly 10 million viewers in the United States alone.
But there is a catch, in both cases, as recalled The Hollywood Reporter, a Hollywood reference magazine: streamers have no way of knowing exactly how many people are in front of their device watching a program. Are we talking about 25 million and 10 million streams? Did they watch at least two minutes? Half an episode? The totality ? Impossible to know. The platforms generally communicate in number of minutes viewed. We do not know why, or with what methodology, HBO and Prime Video are returning to the good old ratings in terms of viewership.
“As for the context, there is not much to put in your mouth” note The Hollywood Reporter. “Prime Video representatives declined to comment on whether [le nombre fourni] was an estimate of day one global viewership, how many people watched at least a few minutes of that first season or whatever.” Nothing is known about the previous record either, neither the title of the series nor its audience. This is the first time that Amazon has released such figures.
Prime Video claims 200 million accounts worldwide. But they are linked to Amazon’s premium subscription formula which offers, above all, advantages in terms of delivery on the online sales platform, without it being known what share of subscribers stream regularly.
To get a more precise idea – and, no doubt, closer to reality – of the impact of the two series, we will have to wait for the results of third-party companies, such as the Nielsen Institute, which will publish the figures for audience for the week of September 2 in the United States.