Game of Thrones proved that there is a stonking great big audience for fantasy content. Despite Season 8 getting some serious negativity, the finale had 19.3 million viewers! That’s a lot of people for Netflix’s The Witcher to pick up from HBO!
What amazes me is that 19.3 million doesn’t come close to the actual number of viewers.
Game of Thrones is one of the most pirated shows ever. For instance, the first episode of the final season was illegally watched 55 million times in 24 hours.
In all likelihood, The Mandalorian on Disney+ will also become one of the most pirated shows ever.
No Game of Thrones, no problem (yet)
HBO takes risks, spends big money and makes not just great shows, they make the best shows! Anyone in doubt of that, go watch Boardwalk Empire, The Wire, and Game of Thrones.
This great back catalog along with new gems like His Dark Materials are going to keep people subscribed to HBO. For a while.
The problem is, people are like locusts when it comes to on-demand content. They binge and move on to whatever is hot.
This happened right after the Game of Thrones finale. People were jumping from HBO’s ship, or as it’s called in the industry, “churn”. It’s a surprise they only lost 16% of its audience, but one big question lingers.
Game of Thrones was HBO Go’s selling point during its rapid growth. Now that the show is over, what happens if another service lands with a mega-fantasy tale?
HBO struggling with “Game of Thrones” shows
Whether HBO needs a new fantasy show is uncertain. They already have His Dark Materials, which is going to fill the void left by Harry Potter.
However, the best way for HBO to keep their new fans is to make more Game of Thrones.
And they’re trying!
HBO likely has many more spin-offs and prequels in development, but they could all be one or two years away — at least!
What happens between now and then?
Netflix and “The Witcher” step in
We all know Game of Thrones show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss jumped to Netflix from Disney in a $200 million deal.
To me, that’s a clear sign that Netflix wants some of that fantasy audience. Plus, Disney and Netflix seem in each other’s crosshairs.
The Witcher game series of the same name sold 40 million units globally. It has Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) as its lead, and the show creator is Lauren Schmidt Hissrich. You may know her from The West Wing, The Umbrella Academy, Parenthood, Daredevil, etc.
Early feedback is positive! Between Disney’s The Mandalorian and Netflix’s The Witcher, it’s going to be a lonely Christmas for HBO. Lonely because it’ll start to lose subscribers. If they don’t, I’m giving up predictions!
Check out The Witcher trailer below.