Amazon has announced the Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series notched up record viewing figures for the Prime Video streaming service.
The firm said more than 25 million people around the world watched the two-episode premiere within the first 24-hours of its release on Thursday/Friday. However, considering Amazon debuted the show in 240 countries worldwide, it’s debatable how impressive this statistic is.
Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t offer much context either. It doesn’t say whether ‘people’ refers to households or estimated individuals, it doesn’t say whether they watched the entire thing or just a few minutes. This is also the first time Amazon has ever revealed any viewing figures for programming on Prime Video, so we don’t know how successful it is compared with other originals like The Boys either.
Netflix, for example, said the latest premiere of Stranger Things racked up almost 270 million viewing hours worldwide in the first weekend. The company didn’t reveal how many people this equated to though.
However, 25 million people around the world watching when Amazon has more than 200 million subscribers to its Prime service doesn’t sound that impressive, considering the size of the potential audience and the gravity of the Lord of the Rings franchise. For example, the Euro 2020 (well, 2021) final between England and Italy was watched by an average UK audience of 30 million people alone.
Unfortunately, Amazon isn’t getting into any more detail. In a press release, Jennifer Sale, head of Amazon Studios, says: “It is somehow fitting that Tolkien’s stories – among the most popular of all time, and what many consider to be the true origin of the fantasy genre – have led us to this proud moment. I am so grateful to the Tolkien Estate – and to our showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, executive producer Lindsey Weber, cast and crew – for their tireless collaborative efforts and boundless creative energy. And it is the tens of millions of fans watching – clearly as passionate about Middle-earth as we are – who are our true measure of success.”
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