Cutting the cord has created larger viewership numbers for HBO, according to a new study by Amobee Brand Intelligence. The digital marketing and data analytics firm said HBO consumption has increased 85 percent since the network announced it would debut its HBO Now stand-alone service on April 7.
Viewers are most interested in the premium cable network's fantasy drama Game of Thrones, which had its Season 5 premiere on Sunday. Between the HBO Now announcement on March 9 and its debut a month later, Game of Thrones made up 19 percent of all content viewed on HBO platforms—and it was disproportionately higher for HBO Now. The first day the streaming service launched, Game of Thrones made up 34 percent of all video consumed.
Amobee Brand Intelligence compiled the data by analyzing content consumed online, on social platforms and on mobile. Its insights came from more than 600,000 websites, 550 terabytes of video, 1.4 billion tweets, 450 million articles, 550 million images and more than 300 billion phrases.
Also leading the pack among HBO Now viewers: True Detective (4 percent), Silicon Valley (3 percent), The Sopranos (3 percent) and The Wire (1 percent). But documentaries didn't seem to make much of a dent. While The Jinx, a miniseries that chronicled the eerie story of Robert Durst, made up 8 percent of all HBO consumption during the same time period, it only accounted for 0.4 percent of HBO Now viewings.
Before HBO Now, the only legal way to watch current HBO shows was to purchase a cable subscription for linear TV or watch through the online platform HBO Go, which also required a cable subscription. HBO CEO Richard Plepler announced the $15-per-month HBO Now cable-free service at an Apple press conference in early March. It's available for Apple TV, iPhone and iPad devices, as well as Cablevision's broadband service.
Interestingly enough, during the Game of Thrones premiere on Sunday, HBO Now was able to withstand the onslaught of viewers; Sling TV and Roku users on HBO Go, however, experienced many outages, according to TechCrunch.