Amazon's "Rings of Power" is at Risk



Views and Likes on marketing videos don't independently signify much. Together, however, they demonstrate Amazon may not earn back its $700 million+ investment in its soon-to-be-released "The Rings of Power," a streaming series based on The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Its latest trailer for "The Rings of Power" has received 10.9 million views and 66,000 Likes. Views can be bought. Likes aren't meaningful without context. However, together they indicate 1 out of every 165 viewers bothered to click on the thumbs-up icon. That doesn't divine a groundswell of interest.

Let's put those Likes into further context. Negative commentary on the trailer by three YouTube personalities (The Quartering, Nerdrotic, and Just Some Guy) nearly equaled those 66,000 Likes on a base of fewer than a million views combined. Think about that.

Here's a bit more context. Last December YouTube stopped publicly counting Dislikes on its videos. This was, perhaps, in response to instances like an Academy Awards promotional video delivered by Kathleen Kennedy, the President of Lucasfilm. That video promoting the award for Scientific and Technical Achievement garnered 100 times (no exaggeration) more Dislikes than Likes. No company wants to risk creating that kind of optic. The Academy promptly hid the tally. YouTube made it official later in the year.

No matter: a third-party extension demonstrates "The Rings of Power" trailer has, so far, earned 258k Dislikes, which is no doubt an underestimate.

Years ago, I documented how an unprecedented (and largely ignored) social media revolt against Disney's incarnation of Star Wars accurately reflected and predicted the franchise's downward box office trajectory.

My own research led me to correctly predict the third installment of that trilogy would significantly underperform its opening weekend projections. I demonstrated Disney's approach to the Star Wars franchise unnecessarily sacrificed billions in box office, theme park attendance, and merchandise revenue. Hopefully, Amazon isn't following in that path.

Disney's stock is now trading about where it was 7 years ago. The lift it got from Disney+ has been erased. As a consequence, look for a reprise of the Star Wars analysis over the next few weeks. It will be interesting reading for anyone interested in Disney, the entertainment industry, branding, consumer research, or popular culture.

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