Do more Americans want to watch Game of Thrones or eat ice cream? With the premiere of HBO’s much anticipated season seven premiere of Game of Thrones Sunday night, I had expected the HBO Now app to soar to the number one spot in Apple’s App Store but that did not happen. Instead, the McDonald’s app seized the top spot in the App Store for the first time in its history. 

Last year Game of Thrones premiered on April 24th and did secure the number one overall spot. This year, viewers took to the app a little differently. There was a slow climb in downloads, usage and rank this year instead of a sudden burst. With all of the hype, people started downloading and using the HBO Now app weeks in advance of GoT’s premiere. New users were catching up so they could watch at premiere parties with their friends and those already caught up wanted to rewatch previous seasons in anticipation.

Unfortunately for HBO, Sunday was also National Ice Cream Day. McDonald’s took advantage of this by giving away a free vanilla ice cream cone to every customer who downloaded their mobile app. It drove downloads and soared 21 spots to number one overall. Google Play downloads fo the app also increased, but ranks are harder to climb and change in Google Play. View the last 30 days of iOS rank action for McDonald's and HBO Now below:

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AuthorAdam Blacker

VP, Insights