It’s weeks like this where I just love my job. I’ve been excited, all summer, for the “Hot August Genre Wars” and this week, we finally got it!
You may not share my love. In fact, judging by some of the hot takes I hear on podcasts, you may hate the current deluge of ratings data. And I don’t blame you. Unlike past era, ratings are confusing now.
The streamers provide obscure, undefined data points, and other data analytics companies provide their own data points without any reference. Huge shows like the Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon (HoTD) or the Lord of the Rings prequel Rings of Power (RoP) encourage even more of these context-less data points.
Who can make sense of it all?
The solution to confusing metrics is “context”. That’s what I plan to provide today. Not to toot my own horn, but I don’t think any other article you’ll read will have this level of analysis, with this much context, for this many data sources. To understand streaming success, we need to compare data sources to each other (context) and to do so fairly (apples-to-apples).
To quote Bruce Dickerson, “I got a ratings fever, and the only solution, is more context!”
So let’s provide that context. In today’s article, I’m diving deep into House of the Dragon. On Monday, I’ll finish the streaming ratings report, looking at She-Hulk, Luck, two new datecdotes and more.
(Reminder: The streaming ratings report focuses on the U.S. market and compiles data from Nielsen’s weekly top ten viewership ranks, TV Time trend data, company datecdotes, and Netflix hours viewed data, Netflix Top Ten lists, Google Trends, Samba TV, and IMDb to determine the most popular content. While most data points are current, Nielsen’s data covers the weeks of August 15th to August 21st.)
Television – House of the Dragon vs She-Hulk: The Dragons Win This Round
In my long range SRR calendar, I had planned to compare She-Hulk to House of the Dragon. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think She-Hulk would come close to matching House of the Dragon, but since they both came out this week and are “genre” series, it felt appropriate to compare them. (Reminder the week starting 15-August.) But honestly, we got so much HoTD to talk about that She-Hulk will get its own section down next week.
I don’t want to leave you in suspense so here’s a “Bottom Line Up Front”:
– HoTD had the biggest pay cable or streaming series premiere in 2022, and probably going back to at least 2020.
– But Stranger Things season 4 debut is still the biggest TV series so far this year.
– There is a chance HoTD season 1 may pass Stranger Things season 4 in total viewership, but we probably won’t know for certain. Some data points say HoTD is bigger; some say Stranger Things.
One note before we dive in: I’m going to limit the comparisons between HoTD and Rings of Power this week. I can’t pretend like I don’t know some of the RoP data points already, but I like to wait until we get all the data, which means Nielsen viewership. Trust me, in two weeks, I’ll be all over it.
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