Halo’s Second Season Slump

By Keelan Brown
, Product Specialist, Film & TV
Product Specialist, Film & TV
June 14, 2024
— 3 min read
By Keelan Brown
, Product Specialist, Film & TV
Product Specialist, Film & TV
June 14, 2024
— 3 min read

In recent years, video game IPs have become a reliable and bankable juggernaut for streamers as they build out original programming slates. Fallout was the second most-watched title in Prime Video’s history, netting more than 120 million minutes watched per day in its first two weeks. Meanwhile, fans have been clamoring for Max to release the second season of The Last of Us, which is currently in production in Vancouver. Despite this new craze, a recent release seems to have been passed over by the cultural zeitgeist.

The first two episodes of Halo Season 2 premiered February 8, 2024 on Paramount+, three days before the platform simulcasted Super Bowl LVIII with CBS. The premiere netted ~173 million minutes watched in its first three days, and Paramount anticipated that the Super Bowl would bolster the series’ viewership. Additionally, the platform featured a 30-second promo for the new season that boasted a flurry of special effects and battle sequences. Despite this effort, Halo’s second season spike never came, and the season instead chugged through an ordinary and underwhelming viewership cycle. Inversely, what the Super Bowl ad did accomplish was a 150% spike in viewership for Halo’s first season, which sustained more than a week following the promo.

Beyond this, viewership of Halo Season 1 outperformed compared to Season 2’s launch and subsequent weeks on the Luminate Charts. Week 1 had Halo Season 1 and Season 2 in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Week 2 Luminate shows Halo Season 1 and Season 2 dropping to seventh and eleventh place, respectively.

Luminate Top 50 TV Shows (M). Halo Season 1 moved from position 4 to 7 and Season 2 moved from 5 to 11 from the week of 2/9/24-2/15/24 to the week of 2/16/24-2/22/24.

Much can be speculated as to why this viewership spike did not carry over to Halo’s sophomore season. Both seasons have been lauded by critics, with some noting an increase in quality in the second season. Paramount’s marketing strategy was noticeably homogenous during the Super Bowl. Halo’s brief Season 2 promo was hard to distinguish from a collage of Paramount’s other IPs. One can’t help but feel that Paramount is putting more effort into growing awareness for their titles rather than beckoning Halo S1 fans to return.

Here is a look at the first 12 weeks of Halo Season 1 and Season 2 on Paramount+.

There are numerous factors that could influence an increase in Season 2 viewership. Either a renewal or cancellation could reignite conversation surrounding the series, as well as integrating elements of the series into future patches in Microsoft’s Halo: Infinite. Until then, all eyes will be on the fate of Paramount’s catalog, as the threat of M&A looms over the public media conglomerate.

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By Jimmy Doyle
July 12, 2024
— 4 min read

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