On Sunday night the premiere of Game of Thrones prequel House of The Dragon stirred up excitement among fans, gaining millions of viewers and has since become HBO’s biggest series premiere ever.
But even with all the hype around the new show, we thought it would only be fair to compare this premiere to other streaming platforms’ biggest shows of the summer to see how they resonated online. We looked at how much public interest HOTD, Stranger Things, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and The Boys received from a month before their premiere to a few days after.
In the lead up to the premiere of House of The Dragon there were hundreds of articles published each day, although they weren’t sparking as much interest as articles about the other shows did early on. That being said, the highly anticipated prequel did generate the second biggest spike in public interest overall, earning 151k engagements the second day after it premiered.
This occurred because of publishers like Variety and NPR, who wrote about House of the Dragon breaking the record for HBO’s most watched series premiere (8.5k), (6.5k). Another story that turned a lot of heads was Entertainment Weekly’s article about how the race of certain characters in the show was a topic of discussion among viewers (7.5k).
This summer saw the return of some popular series, and of course some exciting new additions. Here’s what we found stood out the most.
Key takeaways from the biggest summer streaming premieres
1. Game of Thrones dominated owned media channels
It’s also known that Game of Thrones has cultivated a devoted fan base over the years, and through its accounts on social media, it was able to draw massive attention to the House of The Dragon prequel. Leading up to the premiere, Game of Thrones built excitement by taking to Facebook and Instagram to post photos and clips of the new series, with the Instagram posts each earning hundreds of thousands of engagements.
The biggest post to surface was on the night of the premiere, and urged fans to raise their banners to celebrate HOTD finally airing. The Instagram post saw over 399k engagements. On Facebook the same post was shared, earning over 86k engagements and was also the top performing post on the platform. For Twitter, it was actually House of The Dragon’s account that took control, tweeting about A Song of Ice and Fire, the novels that the new prequel is based on, which saw over 168.7k engagements.
2. Obi-Wan Kenobi saw massive peaks before the premiere and after
Anything related to Star Wars can be expected to draw a significant amount of attention, with a dedicated fan base and several storylines that keep the buzz alive. The premiere of Obi-Wan Kenobi proved to be an instant hit, but it actually saw its largest peak in public interest nearly a month before it aired.
On May 4th, also known as Star Wars Day, Disney+ released a new trailer for the limited series which quickly caught the media and public’s attention, generating over 141k engagements on that single day. The premiere itself also saw a similar amount of attention, with articles about fans loving the return of Obi-Wan earning thousands of engagements.
3. Stranger Things helped to resurge popular music
If there’s one thing that Stranger Things has the right to claim it’s the ability to induce the feeling of nostalgia among viewers. The show has brought back the love for 80’s fashion and music, but season four was particularly noteworthy because of how it resurged the Kate Bush classic “Running Up That Hill.”
The second biggest article about Stranger Things was about how the show pushed the 1985 single to number one on iTunes shortly after the premiere (36.4k). A detailed look at the build up and impact Stranger Things had on the song was shared in this Twitter thread, and includes data from NewsWhip Spike.
Honorable mention: The boys, a popular superhero series, also found its season three premiere among the mix. While it was able to generate a notable 357k engagements, it was up against some extremely tough competition, and the other summer premieres outperformed in terms of public interest online.
If you would like to read about the summer blockbusters that captured the most attention, check out our movie blog here.