Game of Thrones isn’t the only highly anticipated returning premium cable program based on a hugely popular book series with a rabid fan base. On April 4, Starz rolls out the second half of Outlander’s debut season. As I wrote at Adweek, the show — based on Diana Gabaldon’s historical/fantasy/romance novels — has finally brought a large female audience to the premium cable network, whose programs have tended to skew male.
And as Starz CEO Chris Albrecht notes, that highly engaged new audience has mobilized into a social marketing army for the network:
“If you go for a certain demo, then you have an audience that not only is going to come to watch the show, but they’re going to be the best marketing and promotional arm you could have,” said Albrecht, who had similar results last summer with Power, which is targeted to African-American viewers. “Because with social media, they’re talking about the show all the time to their friends, trying to get their friends to watch. So Outlander proved one more time that a core group of fans that are pleased are going to be a really powerful tool for the successful evolution of the show.”
The show’s popularity has also helped Starz grow to 23.3 million subscribers, and leapfrog Showtime to become the No. 2 premium network behind HBO.