Rings of Power makes its streaming chart debut at the top.
The HBO Max-only tally for “House of the Dragon” in the US is surpassed by the “Lord of the Rings” series.
The expensive The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power outperformed House of the Dragon among streaming users during its strong first weekend on Nielsen’s SVOD charts. In terms of overall viewing time, it was not, however, Amazon’s Prime Video’s biggest debut ever.
The Rings of Power, the only streaming programme to surpass one billion minutes for the week, attracted 1.25 billion minutes of viewing time after its U.S. debut on September 1. Meanwhile, HBO’s House of the Dragon increased week over week with 781 million minutes on HBO Max (the latter figure excludes viewing on HBO’s linear channels, which makes up a sizeable chunk of its total audience).
Rings had one of Prime Video’s best debuts ever, making it the first platform series to score No. 1 overall on the Nielsen chart, but it wasn’t the best. Reacher continues to hold that distinction, garnering 1.84 billion viewing minutes during its premiere weekend in early February.
One significant distinction is that Reacher’s entire eight-episode season launched all at once, offering Prime Video subscribers around six and a half hours of content to watch. Only two episodes, spanning two hours and twelve minutes, made up The Rings of Power’s debut. By dividing viewing minutes by running duration, that equals an average of around 9.5 million viewers for the two episodes, which is more than twice as many as for Reacher’s first episode (4.7 million).
Another fantasy programme, The Wheel of Time, offers a more precise comparison among Prime Video shows. In the first weekend after its November 2021 three-episode debut, it racked up 1.16 billion viewing minutes. In total, those three broadcasts lasted 169 minutes, which translates to an average of nearly 6.6 million viewers.
House of the Dragon received 781 million minutes of viewing, which is somewhat more than the 741 million the week before and includes a week’s worth of viewing for the first two episodes and a few hours for episode three. Game of Thrones, the acquired series’ parent, continued to rank highly with 792 million minutes.
According to HBO, since its Aug. 21 launch, House of the Dragon has averaged 29 million cross-platform viewers each episode, outpacing the numbers for the first six seasons of Game of Thrones.
With 716 million minutes of viewing spread across eight episodes, Netflix’s limited series Devil in Ohio debuted in second place among originals on the streaming chart. With the premiere of its third episode on September 1, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (472 million minutes) had a 21 percent week-to-week increase.
The minutes watched on computers or mobile devices are not included in Nielsen’s streaming ratings, which only account for viewing on TVs. Exclusively Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, and Prime Video are now included in the ratings, which only reflect American viewers and exclude those from other countries.
The top streaming series according to Nielsen from August 29 to September 1 are listed below.
A first-run programme
1. 1.25 billion minutes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Prime Video
2. Devil in Ohio (716 million) on Netflix
3. Stranger Things (667 million) on Netflix
4. Echoes (627 million) on Netflix
5. I Am a Killer (558 million) on Netflix
6. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (472 million; Disney+)
7. The Sandman (432 million) on Netflix
8. Virgin River (428 million) on Netflix
9. Partner Track (413 million), Netflix
10. Untold, 301 million (Netflix).
1. NCIS, 812 million minutes on Netflix
2. Game of Thrones (792 million; HBO Max)
3. 781 million watched House of the Dragon (HBO Max).
4. Cocomelon (693 million) on Netflix
5. Grey’s Anatomy (674 million) on Netflix
6. Bluey (581 million, Disney+)
7. The Big Bang Theory (571 million; HBO Max)
8. Friends, 480 million (HBO Max).
9. Breaking Bad (422 million) on Netflix
10. The Simpsons (397 million; Disney+)
The ratings for House of the Dragon and The Rings of Power’s “reach,” or the number of viewers who stayed for at least six minutes of a specific show, are somewhat comparable. Only streaming viewers give The Rings of Power the advantage; during the course of its first four days, 12.6 million Americans watched the series, compared to 10.6 million who watched House of the Dragon. On-demand viewers and those who watch on HBO’s multiplex channels are not included in the overall number of viewers for House of the Dragon, which rises to 14.5 million when the latter’s viewing on HBO’s primary cable channel is included.