Nielsen Weekly Ratings: Game of Thrones Sets HBO Ratings Record, Wins Millennials on Twitter

We are looking at Nielsen's social content ratings of the week of May 13 to 19 in order to get a good sense of which social platforms are the best tool to engage with viewers and to learn where audiences are, what they're watching, and what they're saying.

 

On Sunday night, Game of Thrones set an HBO ratings record as 19.3 million viewers tuned in to watch the series' final episode in the U.S. After 9 years since season 1, fans all over the world watched the ending of the TV show that some say ushered the new Golden Age of television.

HBO reaches fans at home through HBO and HBO Latino, as well as through its OTT Streaming Service HBO Go. It has inspired Netflix, Apple, and Amazon to look for "their own Game of Thrones" show, with mixed results. Even HBO has ensured dollars keep coming in and has planned up to five spin-off shows.

Most Game of Thrones viewers are millennials, as research shows. The show is a great case study in marketing for this generation, as it has managed to build a powerful brand via strong community building, strategic content marketing, and appropriate use of channels and resources.

Interestingly, most interactions about Game of Thrones happen on Twitter, and this is directly related to the fact that most Twitter users are millennials. Data shows 80% of Twitter users are millennials; in fact, a study about online behavior shows, together with Facebook, it's one of the only social networks that have survived from the list of platforms they used 10 years ago.

According to Nielsen's Weekly Social ratings, Game of Thrones has been on the top three shows with most interactions on social media since the 8th season started. The series finale generated 7.4 million interactions, and 7.2 million took place on Twitter. This accounts for 32% of interactions about the top 10 TV episodes of the week.

When we look at the rest of the shows on the top 10, we find that most interactions happen on Instagram. On spots two and three respectively, American Idol generated 4.5 million interactions (80% on Instagram) and the NBA Draft Lottery generated 2.8 million (64% on Instagram).

See the rest of the top 10 shows of the week below.

RANK NETWORK / PROGRAM / DATE INTERACTIONS
(000)
Facebook Instagram Twitter
1 HBO

Game of Thrones

5/19/19

7,401 53 115 7,232
2 ABC

American Idol

5/19/19

4,515 538 3,656 321
3 ESPN

2019 NBA Draft Lottery

5/14/19

2,858 124 1,809 925
4 CBS

The Big Bang Theory

5/16/19

1,807 213 1,379 214
5 CBS

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

5/15/19

1,585 85 82 1,418
6 USA Network

WWE Monday Night RAW

5/13/19

1,373 73 1,076 224
7 ABC

Grey's Anatomy

5/16/19

1,094 58 963 72
8 CBS

Unraveling the Mystery: A Big Bang Farewell

5/16/19

1,085 48 941 96
9 USA Network

WWE SmackDown!

5/14/19

882 46 704 131
10 The CW

Riverdale

5/15/19

792 5 476 311

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Janet Grynberg @grynberg_janet

Janet has worked as editor and translator since 2013. After graduating with honors when receiving her Bachelor's Degree in English literature, she began working as a book reviewer for Expansión, the leading business magazine in Mexico. She has also worked as editor of young adult literature for publishing houses like Planeta and Penguin, and she's the author of a book of short stories. She's in the process of getting her MA in English at McGill University. Her interests include arts, good food, and her 8 pets.

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