The trailer for season 3 of Game of Thrones has accumulated over 10 million views on YouTube in a little over 2 days. How impressive is that? Well, just last season, the “Shadow” trailer acquired 3.5 million views in the same time frame and HBO touted it as a record for any sort of online promotional content they had put out. Obviously, this trailer has blown that one out of the water and set a new record.
Which raises the question, just how popular is this show? I think you could make a case that it is the most popular show on HBO right now. And may be the most popular HBO show ever.
We know that officially HBO has declared Game of Thrones its third most-watched show ever, behind True Blood and The Sopranos. Well, True Blood is slowing down and Thrones will likely end up surpassing it this season in total viewers. However, what the total viewer numbers don’t take into account are home video sales, international viewers and, perhaps most important of all, pirating. Game of Thrones was the most pirated show of 2012, with an average of 4 million downloads per episode. And it broke its own record for home video sales, becoming yet again the fastest-selling box set ever for HBO. It has aired in nearly every country on Earth and set viewer records in some of those countries. Neither True Blood nor The Sopranos have done as well internationally, both were outsold by Thrones in home video and neither have been pirated nearly as much (or pirated at all really, in The Sopranos case).
When you add it all up, I would wager that Game of Thrones is the most-watched HBO show ever and, quite possibly, one of the most-watched shows on TV today.