Breaking down the streamer’s quarterly viewership drivers, including ‘The Expanse’
Amazon announces earnings on Thursday, and while Prime Video only represents a fraction of the massive company’s operations, it plays a key role in the value proposition of Prime membership for consumers. As Americans face stubborn inflation, many streaming services will be on the chopping block as households look to save money – could Amazon’s bundled approach to its Prime membership be a key factor that keeps subscribers sticking around?
In Q2, “The Boys” was Amazon’s standout hit. It had 31.29 times the demand of the average series for the quarter. This put it well ahead of Amazon’s other original series last quarter. “The Boys” was the third most in-demand series overall in the U.S. in June. While the other top ranked series from Amazon all had solid demand, none came close to that of the grisly superhero series that become a flagship original for the streamer.
Also impressive is the persistently high interest for “The Expanse,” which had 17.79 times the demand of the average series last quarter. It has maintained a remarkably stable level since the show’s series finale debuted in January, which could be an indicator that this franchise has the demand to support a spinoff.
Meanwhile, if we compare the past three season premieres of “The Boys,” we can see that demand for the latest season struggled to surpass Season 2 (which aired in 2020). This could be a sign the show is hitting a ceiling of demand where it may have reached its largest audience. The numerous spinoffs of “The Boys” which Amazon has in development (including the just-launched animated series “TheBoys: Diabolical” and the upcoming college-set “Gen V”) may serve more to feed the current devoted fanbase than to expand the reach of the franchise further.
At a more macro level, Amazon’s share of demand for original content is looking to be under threat from newer streamers. Previously, it enjoyed a healthy lead over competitors, but now several look to be within striking distance, notably Disney+ which has released a consistent stream of massive hits since its launch at the end of 2019.
Key for Prime Video in the next few months will be the success of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” Years of anticipation and millions of dollars spent have set a high bar for expectations for this expansion author J.R.R. Tolkien’s world. With a total of five seasons planned and the inclusion of fan-favorite characters like Elrond and Galadriel (despite the fact that the show is set thousands of years before the events of “Fellowship of the Ring”), a series of this scale has the potential to be a strong force keeping Amazon Prime members around and attracting new subscribers.
It will not be without competition, however. HBO’s “Game of Thrones” spinoff, “House of the Dragon,” is set to premiere less than two weeks before “The Rings of Power,”, setting the stage for a battle royale for audience attention between these two massive fantasy franchises.
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