Amazon has been suspiciously quiet about 'The Rings of Power' viewership in the 2 weeks since the first season concluded

Amazon has been suspiciously quiet about 'The Rings of Power' viewership in the 2 weeks since the first season concluded
"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power."Prime Video
  • Amazon has yet to share viewership numbers on its "Rings of Power" finale, weeks later.
  • The only mention of the show's performance in its quarterly earnings report reused an old stat.

Something was suspiciously absent from Amazon's quarterly earnings release Thursday: any new viewership numbers on its prestige "Lord of the Rings" series, "The Rings of Power."

It's been nearly two weeks since the first season of the show, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make, concluded on October 14th. Amazon has yet to release any viewership numbers on the finale, and the earnings release published Thursday repeated a vague stat that the company first teased more than three weeks prior.

On October 4, Amazon Studios boss Jennifer Salke said in a splashy Variety cover story that the show was "cresting toward 100 million customers having watched it."

The show was only mentioned one time in Amazon's quarterly report on October 27, reiterating that the show was "closing in on 100 million viewers to date."

That means that Amazon has yet to cross that threshold — more than three weeks after first touting the squishy number as an achievement.


Questions of the series' staying power

The growing silence on Amazon's part begs the question as to whether the company saw a drop-off of viewers after the two-episode premiere.

Amazon said that 25 million viewers worldwide watched the two-episode premiere in its first day. A Hollywood Reporter feature on creators J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay later noted that 12.6 million viewers watched the premiere in the US in the first four days.

Weekly Nielsen streaming figures, based on minutes viewed on connected TVs (so not laptops), have given a decent idea of the show's viewership in the meantime. Nielsen confirmed with Insider that 7.4 million US viewers watched the third episode in its first weekend.

They were decent figures. But "The Rings of Power" has also faced the growing pains of a highly expensive series based on beloved IP.

Still, Amazon said "Rings of Power" in its first two months has driven "more Prime signs-up globally than any other Amazon original."


But audience reaction was harsh, with the show receiving a 39% Rotten Tomatoes audience score (but an 85% critic score). Amazon has contested that the show was "review bombed," in which people purposely try to lower a movie or show's user ratings, usually for racist or sexist reasons.

Indeed, racist fans criticized the fact that Black actors were playing some characters, but it's impossible to know how widespread the review bombing was. For what it's worth, the show has a decent-but-not-spectacular 3.4 star rating (out of five) on Prime Video itself — where Amazon paused reviews for a week after the premiere to weed out trolls.

And it seemed largely overshadowed by HBO's own fantasy series "House of the Dragon," which didn't appear to face the same headwinds with angry fans.

Google Trends data shows that "House of the Dragon" exceeded "Rings of Power" in interest after each episode premiered, and the latter's peak interest was far below the former.

The difference in interest in both series was also reflected in social-media conversation. The #HouseoftheDragon hashtag on TikTok has over 7 billion views, while the #TheRingsofPower hashtag has nearly 800 million. It could be because "Rings of Power" struggled to attract young viewers that drive online engagement; according to Nielsen data released earlier this month, 71% of its audience was 35 years or older.


HBO said this week that "House of the Dragon" was averaging 29 million viewers per episode.

The company wasted no time touting the viewership of the season one finale of "House of the Dragon." The day after it was released, HBO revealed it had been watched by 9.3 million people.