Vikings is the most-watched show on Amazon Prime Instant Video
Ivan Radford | On 20, May 2014
Vikings is now the most-watched show on Amazon Prime Instant Video.
The epic drama upped the violence for its second season, which recently finished on Amazon’s video on-demand service. The show premiered on the History channel in the US last year before being snapped up exclusively by Amazon for its UK site, then known as LOVEFiLM Instant.
The second season of the programme, which follows Ragnar’s journey from farmer to Norse legend, returned to an American audience of 3.6 million viewer this year. It was released on Amazon Prime Instant Video every week following its US broadcast, a drip-feed that led to record streaming figures for the climax.
The show has been compared to Game of Thrones and other fantasy programmes, but is notable for its focus on historical fact – or, to be more accurate, the few historical facts that exist about the Vikings from our perspective. Created by Michael Hirst, who wrote The Tudors and Elizabeth I, its revisionist stance makes for an enjoyably gritty, realistic tone that won it a large following on both sides of the Atlantic. Well, that and star Travis Fimmel’s awesome hair.
Amazon is pleased with the response the show has had. Indeed, it was the first exclusive programme the company bought the UK streaming rights to.
“The way in which we watch TV has changed”, says Tim Leslie, Vice President of Amazon Prime Instant Video.
“Our customers want to watch great TV shows at their convenience. Vikings was the first of many critically-acclaimed TV shows we brought to the UK before traditional broadcasters and the fact that it is the most watched content on our service will give producers of quality content even more reason to launch on services like ours rather than terrestrial channels.”
Amazon is now following Vikings with a run of original and exclusive content, resurrecting Ripper Street after the BBC cancelled the show and most recently launching Michael Bay’s pirate TV series Black Sails, which stars Toby Stephens.