The demand for new Game of Thrones content is higher than HBO Max can handle.
HBO Max’s highly anticipated follow-up to Game of Thrones premiered Sunday evening but thousands of viewers were unable to watch it. Streamers of the new series House of the Dragon reported outages and crashing apps, as too many people tried to access the show at once.
“We’re aware of a small portion of users attempting to connect via Fire TV devices that are having issues and are in the process of resolving for those impacted users,” an HBO spokesman told The Wall Street Journal.
Crash reports spiked at 7:59 p.m. Central time, as the show premiered, according to DownDetector, with more than 3,180 reports in the opening minutes and at least an additional 4,331 reports for the remaining hour. The outages continued until nearly 2 a.m.
HBO Max responded on Twitter to the outage, joking that “The only thing that could tear down the House of the Dragon was itself. #HOTD”
Why it’s important
The popularity of House of the Dragon is another indicator that streaming services represent the future of entertainment.
As we reported last week, for the first time ever, Americans spent more time in July watching streaming content than cable content in July. “Streaming services have slowly been eating into cable’s market share over the last decade, but cable has remained strong. But this news suggests that the tide has turned.”
Netflix has nearly 221 million subscribers. Disney+ has more than 152 million subscribers. Amazon Prime Video has over 77.3 million subscribers. HBO Max has at least 76.8 million subscribers, and it is likely that the House of the Dragon premiere has spiked subscription numbers and free trials in the short term.
Game of Thrones is a phenomenon with one of the largest followings on any streaming platform, and the demand for new content is high. The series finale in 2019 received more than 19 million viewers. While HBO Max hasn’t released rating numbers yet, it told Deadline that “House of the Dragon is being successfully viewed by millions of HBO Max subscribers this evening.”