Who watches Game of Thrones And Why Should You Care?

Who watches Game of Thrones And Why Should You Care?
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What is a typical Australian Game of Thrones fans? According to an Exponential analysis they are single, most likely male and in their early 20s or 30s. But what happens when you dig deeper into the data? Alice Donaldson investigates

Winter is STILL coming, after this next break…

Tonight sees the finale of Game of Thrones, Season 4. Monday nights won’t be the same for millions of Australians. Disappointment and sadness will set in.

Sound a bit extreme? Possibly, but it’s important to highlight just how HUGE GoT is.

  • The premier of Season 4 was watched by 6.6 million people in the US. This is now the most watched telecast since the 2007 series finale of The Sopranos
  • The HBO streaming service HBO Go crashed twice in one month due to the heavy usage.

In Australia however, it’s a little more complex.

It’s near impossible to determine a true actual audience size for GoT and this is why. For the season 3 finale, over 1 million Australians illegally downloaded the episode and 170,000 shared it. This has made it the most illegally downloaded show – ever. So it’s huge….

At a recent dinner party, the conversation turned to GoT. When I offered my 10 cents worth, I was laughed at. Not because of my opinion but because they thought it hilarious that I watch GoT. The girl who gets petrified watching Disney movies watches GoT?! Yes, I do and I love it. I didn’t talk to my brother for a week because he told me the punch line of an episode that I hadn’t watched yet. I am THAT type of fan.

This viewer ‘stereotyping’ got me thinking…. If I am not the perceived stereotypical GoT fan then who is? And is it right?

Using Exponential’s e-X Advertising Intelligence Platform, which can analyse (anonymous) online behaviours, we looked at 177,000 Australians who have shown an online interest in GoT during May and this is what we found.

The highest indexing demographic segments for this audience are Single (35 times), Male (23 times) and either early thirties (23 times) or early twenties (23 times). So far I’m not really fitting the profile. But dig a bit deeper and you’ll find women (19 times), people aged 30-39 (17 times) and those in a relationship (14 times) also index above average. The whole joke about Game of Thrones being ‘mummy and daddy’ time is true – they are 19 times more likely to have young children.

When you look at other topics of interests, the audience life stage starts to become a lot clearer. We know GoT is attracting a lot of people under the age of 40 and judging by what they are researching online, it seems they are about to make a big commitment: Bridal & Wedding Music (90 times), Bridal & Wedding Flowers (70 times), and just to make sure they are really ready, Marriage Counseling also ranks high – 36 times more likely. It’s not all marital sweetness; they’re also looking at Pest Control (22 times) and Beer (20 times)…

Whether they are single, engaged, or already have young children – having children is not on their near future plan with Birth Control (18 times) being the highest Health interest. Closely followed by Shopping: Health & Beauty Products (14 times), Healthcare Insurance (12 times), and Weight Loss Plans & Dieting (11 times).

It’s hard to get a metric around how passionate GoT fans are, but if the destinations they are interested in traveling to are an example, well we’re about as passionate as they come! So where do they want to go? Iceland (23 times), Ireland (20 times), United States (22 times) and Croatia (16 times). The clincher? ALL of these destinations are filming locations for GoT… In fact, similar to what New Zealand has done around the Lord of the Rings, Tourism Ireland is starting to do the same thing with GoT. So for those of you who can’t wait 10 months until season 5, perhaps a trip to Winterfell Castle (Castle Ward) in Ireland will make the wait easier.

So the good news is, the audience isn’t all tough men who like blood and gut movies. If only I had all this data at the dinner party…. I’m female, early 30’s, recently engaged so planning a wedding and I am now on the dreaded wedding diet. I fit the profile as snuggly as Jon Snow’s leather body suit… Hmmm, Jon Snow….

Alice Donaldson, insights manager APAC and South Africa, Exponential Interactive

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