A study by GlobalWebIndex has revealed that nearly half of UK consumers (48 per cent) intend to watch the final season of Game of Thrones, which begins next month. The majority of fans plan to watch at home (88 per cent), with just over a tenth of the show’s fans (12 per cent) prepared to go to a family member’s home to watch the show.
Despite the popularity of watching at home, less than a third (32 per cent) of viewers are planning to watch through a Sky Atlantic package subscription. Instead, fans of the show are turning to services like Sky Go (11 per cent) and Now TV (20 per cent).
Notably, over a quarter of UK consumers (26 per cent) plan to watch Game of Thrones through an illegal stream. This was largely the case for season 7, which currently holds the record for the most illegally downloaded/streamed show globally. Season 6 also earned the dubious award of ‘the most pirated show of 2016‘.
Katie Gilsenan, Senior Trends Analyst at GlobalWebIndex, commented: “It’s clear that a show like Game of Thrones offers significant opportunities for the likes of Sky to boost subscriptions of its various services. The popularity of Sky Go and Now TV is an obvious indication that consumer’s viewing habits are changing. Increasingly, consumers are looking for flexibility in how and when they view content. And this is a trend that Sky will continue to tap into, especially when it comes to keeping up with streaming giants like Netflix.”
Only a third of Game of Thrones viewers expect to watch the series as each episode airs. In fact, 28 per cent of viewers state they aim to simply watch each episode at some point within the week before the next episode airs, and 19 per cent are waiting until all the episodes have aired to watch the series.
While 62 per cent of viewers state this won’t impact their use of social media sites, 38 per cent admit they will make a conscious effort to change their social media habits to some degree in a bid to avoid seeing important plot twists before they’ve had a chance to watch the latest episode.
Katie added: “With at least 10 possible claimants to the Iron Throne set to battle it out in the final season, we can expect to see plenty of twists, turns and surprise exits in store. Advertisers and publishers should bear in mind that Game of Thrones fans behave in a few surprising ways of their own. Not only can we see the impact of Netflix, with many viewers delaying their Game of Thrones fix until they can watch episodes back-to-back, but it’s also clear the series is one that can engage viewers of many ages across a range of different platforms.”
The study, conducted among 1,516 UK internet users, also revealed that Jon Snow (25 per cent), Daenerys Targaryen (18 per cent), and Arya Stark (11 per cent) are the three favourites to sit upon the Iron Throne in the season finale.
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