Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon didn’t breathe enough fire to scorch the rest of the streaming field in its initial hours, but new Nielsen figures suggest it got off to a torrid start on HBO Max.
Nielsen’s weekly rankings for streaming titles didn’t feature Dragon in the top 10 after its premiere on August 21, but its absence was due only to the vagaries of timing.
Only a tiny fraction of the show’s premiere got tallied in the weekly numbers because Nielsen measures streaming from Monday through Sunday. That methodology meant that in this case, only the three hours of streaming in the Eastern time zone were captured in the chart for the week of August 15 to 21. Even so, the Thrones prequel racked up 327 million minutes of viewing over that short period. In a release accompanying the numbers, Nielsen said it expects the show to “settle in as a regular over the coming weeks.”
HBO last month declared House of the Dragon to be its top-performing original series debut ever, with a combined audience across linear and streaming of just shy of 10 million viewers. Today’s Nielsen slice is the first look at pure streaming from the third-party measurement firm. The company tracks viewing only via a TV screen, meaning no mobile is counted, for U.S. titles on six streaming outlets: HBO Max, Disney+, Hulu, Apple TV+, Prime Video and Netflix. The numbers are reported after nearly a month’s delay.
Jamie Foxx zombie movie Day Shift took the No. 1 spot for the August 15 to 21 span, with 957 million minutes of viewing. For the first time since April, no title broke past the 1 billion minutes viewed threshold.
While House of the Dragon is likely to have a strong showing for the week of August 22 to 28, it will run into competition the following week from Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings. The legendarily secretive tech giant is having its highest-profile experience with third-party measurement this month, between that fantasy epic and the debut of NFL Thursday Night Football.