Game of Thrones Season 6 Averaged 5 Million More Viewers Per Episode
The Game of Thrones fanbase was larger than ever during season 6, as the season per-episode viewers average grew by millions.
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[SPOILERS for Game of Thrones season 6 ahead.]
The HBO fantasy epic Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows in recent memory with a loyal fan base. No one wants to miss a single episode of the must-see fantasy-drama, since between the water cooler discussions, social media talk and news feeds, you’re bound to have any major events spoiled for you.
Game of Thrones season 6 came to a close not long ago and the anticipation is already growing for the seventh season and what it will bring. The numbers that came in for season 6 show a huge influx in viewership – and the reason behind the growth further illustrates the future of television viewing.
The ratings for each episode of Game of Thrones season 6 gave HBO some phenomenal ratings, far higher than previous years. The ratings went from an average of around 20 million viewers per episode to a whopping 25.1 million viewers each for season 6. In order to enjoy Game of Thrones each week in the past one had to subscribe to a cable or satellite service and pay for the upgraded premium channel. Thanks to the fairly modern technological advancement of the HBO GO and HBO NOW, HBO GO viewers can see the show at their convenience and anywhere they travel, while the HBO NOW app viewers can now pay HBO $15 a month directly to enjoy the programing (much like Netflix or Hulu). This new path of viewing is so popular that almost 40% of the season 6 viewership was through the HBO digital platform, while the combined apps have viewing activity up 91% from season 5.
It’s no secret to anyone that pays attention that streaming media is quickly becoming the future of television viewing. There are even instances where video on demand (VOD) is being used as a viable equal or alternative to a theatrical release. There may be a time in the not so distant future where we see more movies simultaneously released on VOD and in theaters.
It’s not surprising to viewers of Game of Thrones that season 6 garnered such strong ratings growth. The story is really coming together, between the resurrection of Jon Snow, the death of the High Sparrow and his followers, events such as the Battle of the Bastards and the continuing journey of the Khaleesi and her trio of dragons across the seven kingdoms. The finale of season 6 and the feeling of victory that came with the tying up of old story arcs and rivalries before moving into the final phase of the series (and the impending battles for the throne) will no doubt continue to drive viewers into season 7
Game of Thrones season 6 is coming to digital download on August 1, 2016, and Blu-ray/DVD on November 15, 2016. Season 7 will premiere on HBO in summer 2017.
Matt MacNabb is a pop culture historian, author and freelance writer that has spent the better part of the past 20 years studying movies, tv, comics, toys and their effects on our culture. Matt is the mind behind a network of popular websites, including LegionsOfGotham.org, GhostbustersCollector.com, TMNTCollector.com, TheAtariNation.com and PixarCollector.com. A regarded authority on Batman and comic book history, Matt and his work has been featured in publications like Total Film, SFX Magazine, Variety, Brick Journal, on CNN and BBC Radio, and other various books, magazines, radio shows and newspapers. He has contributed freelance writing to several websites, including Snopes and Screen Rant. He has also contributed content and editorial services to books like Holy Franchise, Batman and The Dc Comics Action Figure Archive and is the author of four books, including Batman’s Arsenal: An Encyclopedic Chronicle, Ghostbusters Collectables, A Secret History of Brands: The Dark and Twisted Beginnings of the Brand Names We Know and Love and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Collectables. Matt resides in Omaha, NE with his wife and four children, he can be found online at his official website MattMacNabb.com.