HBO Faces Hard Questions in Post-‘Game of Thrones’ Streaming Market

IndieWire | 6/6/2019 | Staff
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The Iron Throne has melted, and with it, so goes HBO’s flagship show and major moneymaker.

“Game of Thrones” served as one of the premium subscription service’s key selling points for years, with nearly every episode in the show’s final two season pulling in over 10 million viewers every Sunday, according to Nielsen ratings. Now that the show has concluded, HBO must forge ahead with new projects if it wants to keep its momentum — and subscribers.

Conclusion - Show - Number - HBO - Customers

The conclusion of such a broadly appealing show will likely cause a considerable number of HBO customers to drop their subscriptions if HBO can’t entice them with new releases, according to Jimmy Schaeffler, an analyst at the Carmel Group.

“My estimate would be that in the short-term they will lose significantly,” Schaeffler told IndieWire. “If your premium content is no longer as premium as it was last month, it will put a lot of pressure on them. The question is whether they can hang in there long enough to produce more hits in the long-term.”

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There is historical precedent for that concern, according to analyses from app-data research firm Sensor Tower. The firm reported in 2017 that though subscriber retention was improving, HBO had seem an increasing number of customers subscribe to the service to watch “Game of Thrones,” only to have many of them abandon the service after seasons of the show ended.

Sensor - Tower - HBO - Apps - Users

More recently, Sensor Tower said that HBO apps added 1.7 million new mobile users for the premiere week of “Game of Thrones” Season 8. A Sensor Tower representative said it would take several weeks to determine how the end of “Game of Thrones” impacted HBO’s subscription numbers due to the way the service’s billing system is set up. Time, then, will...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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