Amazon has arguably played host to the biggest disaster in television history.
The billion-dollar production of Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” was reviled by Tolkien fans and was often ridiculed by both viewers and reviewers. Naturally, this didn’t stop quite a few people from tuning in to watch every week, but according to new data, the number of people who tuned in to watch dropped substantially with every new episode.
As reported by Variety, Amazon was cagey about the ratings for their highly expensive attempt to have their own Game of Thrones, making their silence about the ratings their show was bringing in the loudest part of the show. The lack of information on the show’s viewership gets even more noticeable when it continuously releases rating data for its “Thursday Night Football” broadcasts.
New data has been released, however. It would appear that while the initial interest was high, the show would drop 20 percent of its viewership after the second episode according to Variety. There it would lose one percent of its audience for the next three weeks:
But a pattern has also emerged in the “Rings” week-to-week viewership that may help explain Amazon’s silence: Until the most recent period measured, the series’ minutes streamed decayed each week, albeit by only about 1 percent over the previous three weeks measured. (Nielsen’s streaming ratings reporting is delayed by about a month from the week in question.)
Still, this pattern suggests “Rings’” audience shrank as the season went on, with little catch-up watching by new viewers taking place midseason. Even when viewing time rose again, it failed to reach the heights of the series’ initial weeks of release. The steeper (around 20%) dropoff from its first two weeks also suggests many viewers who checked out the series early on didn’t continue watching it — not a great sign for its growth potential.
The Nielsen ratings reveal another interesting point when “Rings of Power” is compared with the ratings of another fantasy series, HBO Max’s “House of the Dragon.” As you can see by the chart, the Game of Thrones prequel began with far less interest but swiftly earned an audience that competed and even overcame “Rings of Power” at one point.
— Brandon Morse (@TheBrandonMorse) November 7, 2022
This becomes even more impressive when you understand that far fewer people subscribe to HBO Max (48.6 million) than Amazon Prime (153 million) in the United States alone. Meaning that more people had Rings of Power advertised to them on a daily basis than House of the Dragon did when first logging on to the streaming service.
Moreover, Amazon plastered “Rings of Power” advertising over everything. Amazon trucks and even packages delivered by Amazon had advertisements for the show emblazoned on the boxes. You couldn’t even start up Photoshop without seeing Galadriel’s face.
According to CBR.com, Parrot Analytics showed that “Rings of Power” did see a 55 percent spike in viewership for its season finale, and while that might look like a good sign for its oncoming Season 2 due out in two years, it could also be bad news. If the show had disappointed viewers in the midst of its run then it likely didn’t please them in the end either.
This would have the same effect on viewers as many other brands who embraced the bastardization of the source material. Eventually, people will just stop caring and tune out. Brands such as Star Wars, The Witcher, and Marvel properties have engaged in so much politicization and idealism that people have been steadily turning away from latter offerings.
Rumors are swirling that Amazon may replace the current showrunners in light of the failure that the “Rings of Power” has been. If true, then this would be Amazon admitting they failed horrifically without saying so. Time will tell, but one thing is for sure, no matter how you look at it, this show was an absolute disaster.