Amazon has arguably had one of the worst television disasters of all time.
The multi-billion dollar production of Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”, was criticized by Tolkien lovers and often mocked by reviewers and viewers. While this didn’t stop many people from watching every episode, new data shows that the number of viewers dropped significantly with each new episode.
Variety reported that Amazon was secretive about their expensive attempt to host their own Game of Thrones. This silence was made even more evident by their silence regarding the number of viewers their show was getting. It is even more apparent that the show doesn’t release rating data for Thursday Night Football broadcasts, making it harder to gauge its viewership.
However, new data has been made public. Variety reports that although initial interest was high in the show, it would lose 20 percent of its viewers after the second episode. It would then lose one percent of its audience over the next three weeks.
However, there is a pattern in the “Rings’ week-to-week viewership which may help to explain Amazon’s silence. The series’ minutes streamed have decreased each week up until the most recent period, but by just about 1% over the three previous weeks. (Nielsen’s streaming ratings reporting takes about a month after the week in question.
This pattern shows that “Rings”‘ audience shrank over the course of the season, with very little catch-up viewing by new viewers occurring midseason. It didn’t reach the same heights as the series’ first weeks of release, even though its viewing time increased again. Its steeper dropoff (around 20%) in the first two weeks suggests that many viewers who saw it early didn’t watch it again — not a good sign for its potential growth.
Nielsen ratings show another interesting fact when “Rings of Power,” is compared to the ratings of HBO Max’s “House of the Dragon.” The chart shows that although the Game of Thrones prequel received less attention, it quickly gained a following that was competitive with “Rings of Power”.
— Brandon Morse (@TheBrandonMorse) November 7, 2022
This is made even more remarkable when you consider that HBO Max has 48.6 million subscribers, compared to Amazon Prime’s 153 million in the United States. This means that Rings of Power was advertised to more people daily than House of the Dragon when they first signed up for the streaming service.
Amazon also sprayed “Rings of Power” advertising all over everything. Amazon trucks had advertised for the show on them, as well as packages that were delivered by Amazon. It was impossible to start Photoshop without seeing Galadriel.
Parrot Analytics, which is owned by CBR.com, showed that “Rings of Power,” saw a 55% increase in viewers for its season finale. While that may seem like a positive sign for the upcoming Season 2, it could also indicate that something is wrong. It’s possible that viewers were disappointed by the show during its run, and it didn’t please them in the end.
This would have the exact same effect on viewers that other brands embrace the bastardization and abuse of the source material. People will eventually stop caring about the source material and just tune out. Star Wars, The Witcher, and Marvel properties have engaged so much in politicization, and idealism, that people have been slowly turning away from these brands.
Rumors are circulating that Amazon could replace the current showrunners after the “Rings of Power’ failure. If true, this would mean Amazon admitting that they failed horribly without admitting it. The future will show, but this is one thing that is certain: no matter what you think, this show was a complete disaster.