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Game of Thrones season 8 likely to drive HBO Now signups, data shows

The viewers probably won't stay, though.


HBO will probably see a rise and then a fall  in users based on Game of Thrones.

SOPA Images/Getty Images

Game of Thrones fans excited for the show's final season may come running to HBO Now, the channel's $15-a-month streaming service, but likely won't stick around once someone is ruling Westeros from the Iron Throne.

Game of Thrones returns for its eighth and final season this Sunday, April 14. Second Measure, a company that analyzes consumer behavior, said it expects subscribers will flock to HBO Now for the final season. But according to past data, the new subscribers will exit after the series ends for good.

Second Measure looked at trends before and after previous seasons of GoT to reach that conclusion.

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"Roughly half of the subscriber growth from Game of Thrones season 6 vanished within three months of the finale. Our latest analysis, updated to include season 7 data, found a similar effect around the Game of Thrones premiere," Second Measure said.  

HBO Now members in the US spiked by 91 percent during season 7 but steadily fell for six months after the show's finale.


HBO Now has a history of losing viewers after Game of Thrones is over. 

Second Measure

Second Measure said "single-show spikes" in subscribers aren't common on other streaming platforms that create original content. The company noted that Netflix didn't see significant spikes or losses before or after its hit show Stranger Things

However, CBS All Access, owned by CNET parent company CBS, saw a 50% boost in subscriptions during the two months after Star Trek: Discovery premiered in fall 2017. Some of that boost could have been from NFL fans, according to Second Measure, but neither the previous or following NFL season created such a boost. Since the start of the second season of Star Trek: Discovery in January, new All Access subscriptions have been up 82 percent over a typical month in the past three years.


CBS All Access has seen subscription spikes from Star Trek: Discovery.

Second Measure

Originally published April 8.
Correction, April 9: Fixes information from Second Measure about CBS All Access subscriptions.