According to IHS analysis of Google data, Game of Thrones is massively outperforming Netflix’s House of Cards in terms of consumer interest in the UK. Even at House of Cards’ UK peak, Game of Thrones was indexing at double the search volume
“The simultaneous release in UK and US is critical given that the top rising searches relating to Game of Thrones are for online streaming services,” said Richard Broughton, Head of Broadband Analysis. “IHS Technology has found that as US-based seasons progress, the time between US and UK releases falls dramatically – reflecting increased broadcaster confidence in the performance of a series and a recognition that consumers may start to look elsewhere if their favourite series are not offered soon after US release. For Game of Thrones, we’re looking at Season 4 now – for other major US series, it’s only just over a month from US to UK by the time Season 3 is released.”
While five times as many people have access to Game of Thrones via Sky in the UK than have access to House of Cards on Netflix, the role both series play is to drive subscriptions to the core platforms. With this in mind, the search numbers for these flagship shows may indicate that Sky customers are likely to stay in place, while Netflix isn’t gaining as rapidly in the UK as people might think. IHS estimates that there were 9.8 million Sky subscribers in the UK at the end of 2013 versus two million Netflix subscribers.
IHS Technology analysis has found that it takes 84 days on average for US TV shows to air in international markets. Many distributors are trying to make their new series available more quickly, even investing in foreign language dubs which are usually paid for by the buyers. Platforms such as Foxtel in Australia and Orange Cinema Series are showing US series the day after they première in the US.