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FTWD update: Did ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ crawl back out of its dip in popularity with the final epi

Header image_article about the popular series FTWD

After a two-month mid-season break, AMC's prequel of the popular series “The Walking Dead” landed back on the screens with its third season. As we’ve reported, the “Fear the Walking Dead” fan base has steadily declined with each new season release. This week, we explained that the original series also seems to be plagued by a similar lack of interest in the series with the start of Season 8. But has this trend been consistent throughout the second part of FTWD Season 3 up to its final episodes, or did its plot once again trigger an infectious hunger for more?


To answer this question, we started by having a look at the overall figures for the post-apocalyptic TV series. Since the very first episode of “Fear the Walking Dead” aired, the number of unique IP addresses grew to a total 35.1 million by October 22, 2017. If we now take into account the fact that file sharers are active on more than just one given day, this number adds up to 104.8 million (sum of daily file sharers for torrent files of FTWD). But the trendline of daily file sharers during release windows continuously decreased since Season 1 (see article below).



Starting again on a lower level compared with the previous season, the number of P2P users downloading episodes of FTWD steadily increased during the Season 3 release window. The first episode peaked at 242,000 – but that number rose to 326,900 after the last episode aired and the show went into its mid-season break. Later in September, the popular series picked up again, but with a clearly lower number (231,900). That said, the show was able to reel in an increasing number of fans during the fall release window, with 330,800 users downloading FTWD on October 16 – the day after the last episode of Season 3 was released.

But while there has been a clear upward trend during the show’s release windows, it seems that fans overall begin to lose interest during the season breaks.

FTWD piracy trend line of the popular series

The trend hasn’t shown a clear reversal, but there remain a few positive signs for the upcoming Season 4. With critics calling the last episode “an exciting finale”* and “an interesting place for Season 4,”** it seems the popular series may have a bright future ahead after all. Furthermore, crossover with the original series has built up a great deal of anticipation among FTWD and TWD buffs, which may result in increased demand for Season 4. With all these positive signs, FTWD could still be called a relatively popular series.



The latest TV ratings showed decreasing figures for people between the ages of 18 and 49 as well as for the total viewership for FTWD in the United States.*** This trend coincides with the TV piracy data for FTWD in top file sharing countries such as Brazil, Spain, China and the United States.

Nevertheless, file sharing statistics reveal a few new developments about the popular series, which may be interesting for the upcoming installment of Season 4. The next season of the popular series will be released in 2018 (presumably in early summer****). But there’s one country where the demand for FTWD episodes draws a diverse picture compared with most other regions: Russia.

Russia showed an increased demand for the popular series “Fear the Walking Dead”. During the release window of Season 1 in 2015, the total sum of daily P2P users who downloaded and shared episodes of FTWD grew to almost 565,000. After Season 2 aired the following year, the number dropped significantly. Only about 236,000 P2P users downloaded the latest episodes of Season 2 during the release window – compared with Season 1, Season 2 had more than twice as many episodes! With nearly the same number of P2P users in the same period, Russia seemed to be busier catching up with Season 1 than with the latest episodes of Season 2.

Lastly, Season 3 gave Russian fans a renewed appetite for the popular series, with more than 750,000 (and over 2.4 million sum of daily) file sharers downloading and sharing episodes of the third season during its release window. This increased file sharing activity may indicate a growing demand for the popular series in Russia.

Piracy statistics FTWD: Popularity of TV series in Russia

Although other countries, such as the top file sharing countries Brazil and the United States, saw a slight upward trend for Season 3, the number of fans downloading and sharing episodes of “Fear the Walking Dead” is relatively low compared with Season 1. Therefore, the Season 4 premiere and the promotional lead-up time will be even more interesting to follow!

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FTWD: a less popular series than ‘The Walking Dead’. Plus, the fan base is steadily shrinking. Will this trend be reversed with Season 3’s final episodes?

September 15, 2017

After the two-month mid-season break, the second part of “Fear the Walking Dead” Season 3 landed back on the screen on September 10, 2017, with two new episodes.

Since the first episode of “Fear the Walking Dead” aired on September 22, 2015, a total of 33.3 million P2P users downloaded and shared files of the popular series up to September 14, 2017. Within a time span of nearly two years and several release windows, the number of FTWD fans in P2P networks is lower than the 39.12 million fans who were active during Season 7 release window of “The Walking Dead”. In addition, the peaks in P2P user activity following new episode releases of the spin-off are significantly lower. That said, the number totals indicate that it’s still a relatively popular series. But compared with “The Walking Dead”, the show is in a completely different league. The highest peak in worldwide file sharers was reached on October 5, 2015, with 835,600 users – one day after the last episode of Season 1 was released. From there the numbers significantly decreased from one release window to the next. The highest peak for Season 3 Part One occurred on July 10, 2017, with 326,900 P2P users – just one day after Episodes 7 and 8 were released.

Infographic_number of file sharers of the popular series 'Fear the Walking Dead'

Although the totals for the popular series were significantly lower at the beginning of Season 2 Part Two, we did see an upward trend during its release window. Whereas the first episode peaked at 270,500 P2P users, the last episode was downloaded by 401,600. A similar trend also occurred during Season 3 Part One, which started off with 242,200 P2P users and went into the mid-season break with 326,900. But the number of P2P users following the releases of Episodes 9 and 10 leave us skeptical about an upswing for “Fear the Walking Dead”. The premiere of the second half of Part Three attracted a total of 231,900 P2P users the following day.

TECXIPIO infographic_file sharing trend line of the popular series 'FTWD'

So let’s see what the next episode releases bring – because as we all know, those who are believed to be dead wind up living longer.




As we’ve seen in our four-part analysis of the popular series “The Walking Dead”, the number of P2P users sharing new episodes dropped during Season 5, but began to see continuous growth again leading up to Season 7. The total number of file sharers during the Season 3 release window added a whopping 38.87 million worldwide users before dropping back down to 36.06 million during Season 5. But the waning trend turned around with the release of Season 6 (37.31 million) and later Season 7 (39.12 million). A closer look at the numbers revealed that the overall popularity of the series primarily increased because of a growing fan base in countries such as Brazil, China, Russia and Spain, whereas the fan base in English-speaking countries saw an accelerated decline over the last couple of seasons. In the U.S., for example, the number of file sharers who downloaded and shared episodes of TWD during release windows dropped from 2.97 million in Season 3 to 1.58 million in Season 7. In Brazil, the P2P user numbers went in the opposite direction – from 4.18 to 6.03 million.


Source: TECXIPIO PIC Definition: The file sharing data is based on number of unique file sharers: How many peers (file sharers) shared at least one file of 'Fear the Walking Dead' within a certain time period?

Further Sources:

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Companies of the media- and entertainment industry leverage file sharing data to enhance conventional audience measurement systems.

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