Amazon broke a longstanding precedent on Saturday by disclosing viewership data for a Prime Video series for the first time, taking exception to remaining tight-lipped about its in-house TVs for its big-budget TV series “The Lord of the Rings.” .
According to the e-commerce giant, “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” was watched by 25 million viewers worldwide in the first 24 hours that the first two episodes of the TV series were available for streaming on Prime Video in 240 countries and lands.
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Amazon’s “The Rings of Power” debuted globally on September 1 and September 2, depending on the region and time zone Prime customers from around the world streamed. The first two episodes aired at 6 p.m. PT/ 9 p.m. ET Thursday.
In its release announcing the ratings for the “Rings of Power” premiere, Amazon did not specify how it measures viewership, or how much of an episode a user needs to watch to count as a viewer.
Since Amazon has never previously released numbers for a Prime Video series and only Nielsen’s Top 10 streaming data for popular series like “Reacher” and “The Boys” to use as a third-party benchmark for the streamer’s success , it’s hard to say how big a hit “The Rings of Power” is for Prime Video. However, Amazon said Saturday that the performance of “Rings of Power” broke “all previous records, marking the biggest premiere in Prime Video history.”
While a fair comparison is almost impossible to make here based on self-reported metrics on Amazon’s side and a combination of Nielsen and proprietary streaming data on HBO and HBO Max’s side, the TV industry generally she is obliged to compare “Rings of Power”. premiered with the U.S. release of HBO’s “House of the Dragon,” which premiered to nearly 10 million viewers on Aug. 21 and increased its ratings by 2% with its second episode on Aug. 28 (global figures not disclosed ). The ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel is going head-to-head with the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series long before they even debut within two weeks of each other.
“It is somewhat fitting that Tolkien’s stories – among the most popular of all time, and what many consider to be the true origins of the fantasy genre – have led us to this proud moment,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. a statement provided by Amazon along with “Rings of Power” viewership numbers. “I am so grateful to the Tolkien Estate – and our showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay, executive producer Lindsey Weber, cast and crew – for their tireless collective efforts and boundless creative energy. And it’s the tens of millions of fans who watch – clearly as passionate about Middle-earth as we are – that are the true measure of our success.”
Costing $465 million for the first season alone, with a second season already in the works on Amazon, the adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s work follows 23 regular series during the lesser-known history of the Second Age of Tolkien’s Middle-earth.
While the premiere of “The Rings of Power” has received a lot of attention, it hasn’t all been positive. Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” series appears to have been bombarded with reviews — a practice that involves malicious users deliberately flooding a show or movie with negative reviews — on sites like Rotten Tomatoes, where it has an 84% rating from professional critics. but a 35% of user submitted reviews. (“The Rings of Power” specifically faced backlash from some people who question the decision to cast actors of color as the elves, dwarves, elves and other people of Tolkien’s fictional Middle-earth.)
As Variety reported Friday, Prime Video user reviews of “The Rings of Power” are being held by Amazon for the first 72 hours after release, a delay that was applied across the board to all Prime Video series earlier this summer that began around time of the release of “A League of Their Own”. The new process includes a hold that allows reviews to be evaluated to determine if they were created by a bot or troll.
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