‘Game of Thrones’ Season Premiere Gives Big Boost to HBO Now Apps, Leads to Streaming Outages

The “Game of Thrones” season 6 premiere was the busiest day yet for HBO’s standalone streaming service HBO Now, according to new data from mobile app data intelligence startup Apptopia. In fact, HBO Now’s iOS app even surpassed Netflix’s iOS app to become the top-ranked entertainment app on Apple’s App Store Sunday.

HBO Now’s iOS app had 25,395 downloads Sunday, compared to an average of 12,000 downloads per day during the 30 days preceding the finale. A year ago, HBO Now clocked 19,681 downloads of its iOS app on the day of the “Game of Thrones” season 5 premiere, a record that wasn’t broken until this Sunday, according to Apptopia.

The startup also measured 429,670 daily active users for HBO Now’s iOS app, compared to an average of 195,000 during the weeks leading up to the premiere. And on Android, HBO Now clocked 31,699 downloads on Sunday, making it the third-most-popular entertainment app after Netflix and Hulu.

However, it looks like the huge influx of new streaming users also put some strains on HBO Now’s streaming infrastructure as well as streams on HBO’s authenticated HBO Go service. A number of users of both services were struggling with outages, with Downdetector.com at one point registering more than 3200 complaints for HBO Go on social media.

A HBO spokesperson declined to comment on usage numbers for both services, but had this to say about the outages: “There was a small number of HBO NOW subscribers receiving an error message. The problem was quickly recognized and resolved.  Overall, both HBO GO and HBO NOW remained stable under unprecedented traffic.” HBO streaming outages were first reported by TVPredictions.com.

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