Three cardinal media lessons from GOT


Despite a less-impressive ending performance, HBO’s Game of Thrones (GOT) has set a record for itself as the most successful TV show in decades.

With an unprecedented budget of about $800 million for the 8 seasons, GOT is the most expensive TV show to ever be produced. While its American streaming audience was estimated at about 40 million, the worldwide audience for GOT final season was also estimated at one billion viewers across 170 different countries.

So it is not a matter of contest that GOT was a success, but what can we learn as media and marketing people from it?

TV is still strong
The strength of TV as a medium was accentuated by GOT’s popularity and stickiness. However, the idea that content drives TV is no longer a theory, but a law of sort given the worldwide distribution of the show across several paid and premium TV networks. Several pay-TV platforms across Africa used GOT to push their subscription numbers with special commercial packages around the content. TV will still command a good audience if the content is right.

Digital streaming is here to stay
This is a major lesson for brands who are pussyfooting on getting involved with video content-streaming platforms and projects. For instance, HBO recorded about 40 million streaming audience in the US alone. Tencent Video, China’s largest video streaming platform, recorded several hundreds of millions in viewers in the final season. Should you get a proposal to be part of a streaming project, now is the time to take a second look.

Good Content is a good investment
The duo of David Benioff and Daniel Brett Weiss did a good job of creating the screenplay from R.R Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ but their creative prowess to push the story beyond its original plot and context gave GOT its uniqueness. In short, when the content is solid, it would always pay-off its stress. However, a brand needs to work long enough with content creatives to get the best from their effort and investment.

First published on NextGen, a weekly newsletter of SBI Media, a Nigerian media group.