The completion rate of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power in the US is low

Amazon previously called the show their best original as it was viewed by over 100 million people worldwide.

Since its premiere last September, The Lord of the Rings: The Power Rings has been proudly branded a hit by Amazon. Prime Video announced that the fantasy series premiere day broke records for the streamer with 25 million viewers. Since March, Amazon has been calling it their biggest show ever with over 100 million viewers worldwide. But streaming reviews are always nebulous, and a new report questions the show’s success.

In the United States, only 37 percent of viewers who started The Rings of Power actually watched all eight episodes to the end, according to a new report from The Hollywood Reporter. The number was not shared directly by Amazon but reportedly came from sources within the organization. Overseas the completion rate was significantly better, but at 45 percent, less than half of all viewers were forced to play Amazon’s Middle-earth adventure to the end.

IndieWire reached out to a representative from Amazon Studios for comment.

Admittedly, it’s hard to tell how these completion rates compare to other shows on Amazon or elsewhere. The streamers that post viewership statistics never share completion ratings for their titles, so success is measured by the raw number of hours the audience watched the show — even if some tuned in for as little as two minutes. However, according to the Hollywood Reporter story, insiders at Amazon said that a 50 percent completion rate would be considered a “solid but not spectacular result” for an original.

Based on the lyrics by JRR Tolkien and developed for television by JD Payne and Patrick McKay, Rings of Power arrived on Amazon last fall with streamers’ high expectations of being a hit and received largely positive reviews from critics. Amazon also needed “Rings of Power” to be a hit; Season 1 alone was priced at $465 million.

But while the show managed to make it to number 15 on Nielson’s end-of-the-year list of top streaming original shows, it also had a slightly muted audience response; On social media, it was completely overshadowed by “House of the Dragon,” which, according to Parrot Analytics, attracted significantly more online conversations. The show was also largely ignored by award winners this year; House of the Dragon, meanwhile, managed to win a Golden Globe for best drama series.

The reveal of the completion rate of Rings of Power is part of a broader Hollywood Reporter story about Amazon Studios’ struggle to produce a breakthrough hit for the Prime Video streamer; Sources cited in the story shared frustrations over perceived poor decisions and lack of vision from studio executive Jennifer Salke and television executive Vernon Sanders.

Salke, quoted in the story, claimed that “250 million homes” around the world receive Prime Video; It’s unclear how Amazon Prime tracks video viewers as opposed to its overall Prime subscription model, but the company last reported that it has 200 million subscribers in 2021.

Salke also claimed that “Rings of Power” was a success story, saying that “this desire to portray the show as anything but a success — it doesn’t reflect a conversation I have internally.” She also said that she expects the show’s second season, which is currently in production, to generate more excitement: “This is a huge opportunity for us. The first season required a lot of preparation.”

The Rings of Power is set thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings. The show — featuring an ensemble cast led by Morfydd Clark as the immortal warrior-elf Galadriel — is produced by Payne and McKay, starring Lindsey Weber, Callum Greene, Justin Doble, Jason Cahill and Gennifer Hutchinson, with co-executive producer Charlotte Brandström, who Producers Kate Hazell and Helen Shang, and co-producers Andrew Lee, Matthew Penry-Davey and Clare Buxton.

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