Box set boost: Sky’s Billions watched more than 11m times on-demand
James R | On 29, Jul 2016
Sky Atlantic drama Billions has been viewed more than 11 million times on-demand since its release.
The show, which stars Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti, is one of an increasing number of new series that Sky is making available to view in full on-demand at the same time as a linear broadcast, with The Tunnel: Sabotage, Camping and the second series of Alan Partridge’s Mid Morning Matters following the same model.
The entire 12-part series of Billions was made available to binge-watch through Sky Box Sets, at the same time as the linear broadcast of the first episode on Sky Atlantic on 12th May.
The box set approach gave the show a significant boost: within the first 24 hours alone, Billions was downloaded 500,000 times, a record for any show on Sky Box Sets. Nearly a quarter of Sky Box Set customers have watched at least one episode of the show, with Episode 1 viewed on-demand more than 1.7 million times to date.
Now, total views have passed the 11 million mark across Sky’s on-demand platforms, including Sky Box Sets, the Sky Go app and OTT streaming service NOW.
The strategy follows a similar tactic being trialled by the BBC, which released the whole of Colin Morgan drama The Living and the Dead and the first three episodes of police thriller New Blood on BBC iPlayer before the shows’ linear broadcasts. Both made it into BBC iPlayer’s 10 most popular programmes in June 2016.
Zai Bennett, Director of Sky Atlantic, comments: “It’s been great to offer our customers the opportunity to watch Billions in a way that they want – whether that’s binge-watching all 12 episodes at once through Sky Box Sets, or tuning in to Sky Atlantic every Thursday. We’ve been overwhelmed with the popularity of the show and thanks to our partnership with Showtime we’re already looking forward to seeing what’s in store for Billions Season 2 next year.”
The series is set in the ego-driven world of New York high finance. Lewis plays billionaire hedge fund kingpin Bobby Axe Axelrod, alongside Giamatti who plays Chuck Rhoades, the tenacious U.S attorney who tries to take him down.
“This gripping financial drama sets up a thrilling game of cat and mouse,” we wrote in our review of the show’s first episode. The entire box set is still available to watch on demand now with Sky Box Sets or a NOW Entertainment Month Pass.
Photo: © Showtime Networks Inc. All rights reserved.