Harry Potter at Home Initiatives Inspire Millions of Fans to Reconnect with “Harry Potter”

In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Dumbledore declares that “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light,” and the Harry Potter series continues to bring joy and comfort to millions of fans around the world. The last few months have been deeply trying for Potter fans, but the Harry Potter at Home initiatives have been successful in uniting the fandom once again, according to a press release from Wizarding World Digital.

 

The "Harry Potter At Home" title card is pictured.

 

New statistics from Wizarding World Digital have revealed just how wildly popular the initiatives were with fans, with digital book sales, video views, and audio listens topping over 37 million between March and July. In particular, the worldwide reread of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone, which was led by celebrity fans, Fantastic Beasts actors, and Potter alumni, garnered massive popularity across the globe, with fans enjoying it over 30 million times across multiple platforms. Furthermore, over 4.5 million people listened to Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone on Alexa as part of Audible’s free Alexa Listening Event, and the hashtag #HarryPotterAtHome trended globally on the launch day of the chapter readings in May.

The initiatives have also had a positive impact on the sales of the Harry Potter books, which we previously reported were in a precarious state due to the drop in demand for Bloomsbury’s paper products. Despite lockdowns being implemented in many countries, the Harry Potter books soared to #1 on the New York Times best-seller list for children’s series, and Scholastic’s physical sales of Sorcerer’s Stone doubled. Digital sales have seen a boost too, since Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone rose to top spots on Amazon’s chart list and Audible’s best-seller list. Additionally, 1 million people borrowed the first book of the Potter series online in only two months from libraries in the United Kingdom and the United States via the unlimited access granted to libraries with partners, including Overdrive.

Finally, to top it all off, countless new fans have joined the community as a result of the Harry Potter at Home campaign. Over 7 million people visited its website, and 18 million fans are now signed up to the Harry Potter Fan Club.

Through the darkest of times, Harry was a source of courage for many characters. Similarly, in the Muggle world, we are grateful that the Harry Potter at Home initiatives have helped fans relive the magic of Harry Potter and reconnect with a series that we all love dearly.

Press Release

Harry Potter [a]t Home Inspires a Whole New Generation of Readers
www.harrypotterathome.com | #HarryPotterAtHome

Millions more children and families discover the magic of the first Harry Potter story during lockdown with digital book sales, video views and audio listens topping over 37 million between March [and] July 2020

  • Digital sales of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone soar to top spots in Amazon.com chart list and Audible.com best-seller list even while the first Harry Potter story was made available for free
  • Over 4.5 million people listened to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone globally on Alexa as part of Audible's free Alexa Listening Event
  • In March and April, 1 million borrow the first book of the series digitally from libraries in the US and UK via the unlimited access granted to libraries with partners, including OverDrive
  • #HarryPotterAtHome trends globally on day of launch of celebrity chapter readings in May 2020, with the readings going on to be enjoyed over 30 million times across multiple platforms including Spotify and wizardingworld.com
  • Over 7 million visit Harrypotterathome.com during lockdown
  • 18 million fans now signed up to Harry Potter Fan Club

The Harry Potter books, published by Scholastic in the U.S., goes to #1 on [the] New York Times [children's] series best[-]seller list during lockdown

Bloomsbury physical sales of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone increase 1% year on year in first half of 2020 despite UK bookshops being closed in lockdown

Scholastic physical sales of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone doubled in the height of lockdown

Harry Potter and [t]he Philosopher’s Stone wins the 30from30 award, a prize honouring the best and most[-]influential book from the past 30 years of the British Book Awards

UK national charity [t]he Reading Agency praises Harry Potter [a]t Home initiative, while their recent survey (conducted by Beano Brain Omnibus 2020) showed 37% of children were reading more during lockdown.

Over the [s]pring months, J.K. Rowling and the Wizarding World partners have successfully run four free initiatives under the Harry Potter [a]t Home banner, to help children, parents, carers and teachers confined at home during the Covid-19 outbreak. The Harry Potter books have always been a refuge, comfort and escape for readers, and so the Harry Potter [a]t Home team went back to basics thinking about 7-9[-]year[-]olds coming to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone for the first time as well as nostalgic older readers reliving the magic that started over twenty years ago.

Each initiative, all around discovering and rediscovering Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone/Sorcerer’s Stone, were designed to encourage and enable children to experience the magic at home by giving teachers and parents entertaining and fun access to the book’s content in different formats for free, with Harry Potter[-]themed supportive content and activities for families to do together – all housed on a magical hub, harrypotterathome.com. Children, parents and their carers sent in illustrations for a chance to have them featured alongside the chapter readings and took part in the weekly quizzes, competitions and craft videos - all aimed at first[-]time readers of the books, but which also provided new ways for existing fans to rediscover the stories during lockdown.

Karen Napier, Chief Executive of [t]he Reading Agency said:

‘While the numbers speak for themselves, the Harry Potter [a]t Home set of free initiatives has had one simple aim from the start - helping children, carers and parents enjoy reading together during a hugely difficult time all over the world. We know, from our recent survey to launch the Summer Reading Challenge, that 37% of children have been reading more in lockdown, and the recent Reading Together Day showed a clear appetite for collectively celebrating the joy of reading - so it's brilliant to see free initiatives like this encouraging families to read for pleasure, while having a huge amount of fun.’

Elizabeth Grace

I (often unsuccessfully) wear many hats. Officially, I'm a full-time student. Unofficially, I'm a debater, quizbowler, writer, content editor, and aspiring journalist after graduation. Secretly, I'm a film/TV shows nerd, esports enthusiast, and F1 fan. Read my articles at: linktr.ee/elizabeth.gh