Far be it for anyone to accuse us of not being a cheerleader for the HBO series. We definitely want it to do well, and we like to cheer it when it does do well. Our facebook fan page is nearing 5,000 people, but the Game of Thrones series page just passed 1 million. I don’t know if it is the fastest to 1 million ever, but it did seem pretty fast.
I decided to do some analysis comparing Game of Thrones social reach to some other acclaimed cable TV shows.
I included Breaking Bad and Mad Men, even though they’re not on premium channels, because they are perennial emmy competition. I also included a handful of shows that are off the air now, those have been marked with an asterisk.
Surely the number of Facebook likes a series has will depend on the genre and the demographic it appeals to. The younger the demographic, the more wired the demographic, the more likely you are to get the Facebook love. However, parents and even grandparents are getting on Facebook now, the world changes.
Why is this sort of metric important? Well, Facebook is the new water cooler, this is where people get recommendations from their friends, this is where people discover new media and new content. The number of facebook likes lends itself both as an indicator of a show’s success, and as a predictor of future viewership growth. The more fans you have, the more new fans those current fans can introduce.
So, Game of Thrones is doing pretty good. It is no Dexter, no True Blood, but it spanks Boardwalk Empire, and destroys shows like Camelot and The Borgias, and even The Tudors, which had years to gain fans.
To be fair, shows that have been on for 6 seasons have had more time to accumulate fans. So I did another graph, I did total air time for a series, from the date of the premier to today, rounding it off as necessary to keep things simple. In the case of series that are now off the air I did premier to finale dates, or simply gave them credit in years for the number of completed seasons.
So this graph shows the average yearly number of likes a show has received since premiering.
Here, Game of Thrones knocks the pants off of everyone. The only close competition is The Walking Dead, which I liked, and thought was a decent show, but the writing wasn’t nearly as good. Often in that show the characters did really dumb things, and there were a couple plot holes. Of course I am almost assuredly biased, and in truth they aren’t even that close.
So, this is just another metric that shows how successful Game of Thrones has been. Let us hope it keeps up.
Borgias is a good show.
It would be interesting to compare the data for likes during the first season for each of the shows, though. It’s to be expected that there’s a swell near the beginning, and during the life of the show the number of new “likes” levels off… which means that a show that’s been on for six seasons will have fewer likes per year, but may have had far more momentum early on.