Insights

Wheel of Time Keeps on Turning: Amazon Prime Video's Latest Hit

21 November, 2021

Amazon Prime Video’s highly anticipated fantasy adaptation The Wheel of Time has been tracking ahead of other recent fantasy series and Prime Video hits in global pre-release demand.

Global pre-release demand for The Wheel of Time was 13.5% higher than global pre-release demand for The Witcher as of four days ahead of their respective series premieres. This matters because attaining exceptional audience demand for The Wheel of Time could be a turning point for Amazon Prime Video. The service has lagged against its streaming competitors in demand growth over the last year, and even fell behind Disney+ in digital original demand share in the US for the first time ever in Q3 2021.

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Four days ahead of their respective series premiere dates, globally The Wheel of Time had:

  • 1.13x the demand for Netflix’s The Witcher
  • 2.16x the demand for Netflix’s Shadow and Bone
  • 5.56x the demand for Apple TV+’s See
  • 7.76x the demand for HBO’s His Dark Materials

Since 2019 every streaming service has been searching for ‘the next Game of Thrones’. Many of these attempts have taken popular fantasy book and/or video game IP and turned it into a glossy TV show. When compared to pre-release demand for other high profile fantasy series - three of which were based on popular fantasy books - The Wheel of Times comes out on top. 

Each of the four other fantasy shows tested hit exceptional global demand during their first season - meaning they had at least 32x more demand than the average show globally, putting them in the top 0.2% of shows across all platforms. 

The Witcher became the number one show in the world less than a week after debuting on Netflix in December 2019. Meanwhile, Netflix’s Shadow and Bone is a finalist for most in-demand global series debut this year at the fourth annual Global TV Demand Awards.

Prime Video has not had an original series hit number one worldwide since October of 2020, when both The Boys and Mirzapur topped the global demand charts following the release of their second seasons. Meanwhile, all three of the Disney+ live-action Marvel shows became number one worldwide earlier this year, while Netflix had three separate international originals hit number one worldwide in September 2021 alone - La Casa de Papel, Sex Education, and Squid Game.

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Four days ahead of their respective series premiere dates, globally The Wheel of Time had:

  • 2.02x the demand for The Boys
  • 8.92x the demand for Mirzapur
  • 12.7x the demand for Invincible
  • 19.2x the demand for The Family Man

This data bodes well for The Wheel of Time because The Boys and Mirzapur eventually became the number one shows worldwide during their second seasons in 2020, while The Family Man peaked at #3 worldwide in June 2021, and Invincible peaked at #11 worldwide. 

The Wheel of Time has all the components needed for a show to achieve high audience demand and become a global hit - hugely popular underlying IP with a built-in fan base, a distribution platform with over 200 million accounts, and a high profile cast featuring the likes of Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) and Alvaro Monte (La Casa de Papel).

While pre-release demand is not a guarantee of post-launch success, it serves as a good proxy for how much of an automatic fanbase a show will get, and the latest data suggests The Wheel of Time is poised for a strong global debut.

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