Amazon says The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power was its biggest series debut ever — and for the first time ever, the company’s Prime Video streaming service has actually released a viewing tally.
The company says 25 million people worldwide watched The Rings of Power on its first day of release (it debuted at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT Thursday in the United States). Prime Video says that is the service’s top premiere ever.
As for context, there’s little to go on: Prime Video reps declined to say whether that’s an average viewership worldwide on day one, the number of people who watched at least a few minutes of the series, or something else. Nor is there any indication of how much bigger The Rings of Power was than the previous record holder on Prime Video (or what that show was).
Prime Video says the series launched in some 240 territories worldwide. Dividing 25 million by that number would average out to a little more than 104,000 viewers per territory (though certainly significantly higher than that in more populous countries). A rosier spin would be to note that Amazon has about 200 million Prime members worldwide who have access to Prime Video streaming. That would mean one in eight Prime members checked out The Rings of Power on its first day.
“It is somehow fitting that [J.R.R.] Tolkien’s stories — among the most popular of all time, and what many consider to be the true origin of the fantasy genre — have led us to this proud moment,” Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke said in a statement. “I am so grateful to the Tolkien Estate — and to our showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, executive producer Lindsey Weber, cast and crew — for their tireless collaborative efforts and boundless creative energy. And it is the tens of millions of fans watching — clearly as passionate about Middle-earth as we are — who are our true measure of success.”
Further context on the show’s performance will come in over the next several weeks. Some third-party analytics companies are likely to release their figures after the weekend, which will offer points of comparison to other recent releases (including HBO’s House of the Dragon, the other big fantasy series to debut in the past couple of weeks). The first Nielsen streaming figures for The Rings of Power will arrive in about four weeks, unless the ratings service does a rush report sooner.