Game of Thrones is the most pirated show of 2014

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For the third year in a row, Game of Thrones claims the distinction of the most pirated TV show in the world.

Game of Thrones has been downloaded more times than any other show on television in 2014, according to TorrentFreak, which compiled the amount of global BitTorrent downloads of popular shows, including The Walking Dead, Arrow and The Big Bang Theory.

The finale of season 4 of GoT garnered over 8 million downloads, far more than finales of fellow popular dramas Breaking Bad (4.2 million) and The Walking Dead (3.6 million).

These numbers seems fairly consistent with how the shows did in primetime and with repeats; TWD reported 17 million viewers on average while Game of Thrones netted 19 million views on average per week across HBO platforms during season 4.

Game of Thrones also set pirating records earlier this year with the downloads of the season 4 finale and when it was shared simultaneously over 200,000 times.

Bex: With the upcoming expansion of HBO Go service, will pirating numbers be affected for season 5 and beyond? Also, it would be interesting to see the global breakdown of these numbers, since downloading the show seems to be standard fare for those without timely access to HBO shows.

32 responses

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    1. As much as I’d like for GOT to crush TWD, those averages are measured in different ways. The HBO numbers are ALL VIEWS, including every single view measured in replays and online for a period of time HBO doesn’t define. Whereas TWD’s averages are only based on TV views and only the live broadcast plus seven days of DVR of that broadcast.

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    2. And that’s exactly why HBO tries to have it’s VOD service up by the time season 5 starts. If they managed to do that and it doesn’t break down because of all the traffic, the service can get (and hopefully keep) many subs just because people really want to watch GOT.

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    3. This isn’t much of a scoop but I found this CV for Meena Rayann (who we know to be playing some part in the Meereen storyline) and it says she’ll be appearing in both Slovis and Podeswa-directed eps. It doesn’t reveal who she’ll be playing though.

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    4. Don’t fall for the CORP labels! it’s not piracy it’s called SHARING.. you snowlike back in the day when you shared stuff from your CDs to the double tape deck of your stereo? jeez

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    5. yarrharr,

      Hah!..and don’t fall for the ignorance that you are not being monitored while you proceed to “share”. All torrent clients are capable of revealing & receiving much more than most folks think.

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    6. “I say we put nanomachines into the torrents these kids like to watch, then BOMBARD THEM WITH SOLAR RADIATION FROM SPACE SATELLITES when they try to download ’em!”
      — HBO Board of Directors. Probably.

      GeekFurious:
      As much as I’d like for GOT to crush TWD, those averages are measured in different ways.

      Worry not, GoT has already long crushed TWD in every aspect that actually matters.

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    7. Serious question. Is having a online service really going to Chang the pirating practices. Aren’t the people who pirate averse to paying pretty much no matter what?

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    8. house snow:
      Serious question.Is having a online service really going to Chang the pirating practices.Aren’t the people who pirate averse to paying pretty much no matter what?

      Interestingly, this isn’t the case. There was a study done a while ago (I think it was specifically looking at music piracy, but it would probably apply to TV piracy as well), and it turned out that the biggest pirates were also the biggest buyers. They just listened to a lot more music than average people, and they pirated some and bought some, and even with the “losses” due to piracy, they were still pumping significantly more money into the music industry than the average listener.

      In my case, an online HBO service wouldn’t change my piracy habits, since I already subscribe to HBO, but also usually acquire a pirate copy, just because it’s more convenient to watch on mobile devices when I have unreliable Internet connections. I’ve also pre-ordered the Blurays of every season, so it’s really not true that all piracy is caused by people just not wanting to pay, or that all of the pirates are non-payers. The pirate copies are simply by far the most convenient format to use.

      All of this is before you even consider that legal options are not even available everywhere.

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    9. Casso,
      Well, there’s always a legal option, you just need loooots of patience in some countries. I have a few non-pirating friends who are big fans of the show – none could watch Season 4 yet, still have 3 weeks more to wait for the first episode.

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    10. Turri,

      Well, it seems to me that there isn’t “always” a legal option everywhere, because as you say, there is not currently a legal option for season 4 in some places, though there will be at some future point in time. If we’re counting future legal availability rather than current legal availability, then even the unauthorized versions will eventually be legal once the copyright expires, but I’ll be long dead by then.

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    11. H. Stark,

      February? Is that an Artisan or like last year’s Ice and Fire: A Foreshadowing? Might have to search and see if it shows what the runtime is.

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    12. I finally found it, so yeah it looks like it’s just like last year’s Ice and Fire, judging by the runtime (28 mins). http://i.imgur.com/82nkJCm.png?1
      Since last year they’ve also aired the Ice and Fire featurette in the beggining of February I think it’s safe to think that we’ll also get our first trailer in mid January like last year 😀

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    13. house snow:
      Serious question.Is having a online service really going to Chang the pirating practices.Aren’t the people who pirate averse to paying pretty much no matter what?

      No, not at all.

      I’m just not willing to shell out what would amount to about $90 / month to watch a single TV show. I don’t subscribe to cable. I have gotten GoT through both piracy and borrowing friends/relatives HBO codes.

      I’d be happy to pay a reasonable fee in order to get online streaming content however. I currently am an amazon prime subscriber as I think their package is overall a good deal. Depending on the prices I’d consider adding HBO to this as well.

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    14. Balerion The Cat,

      That’s good news! And last year’s featurette actually had quite a lot of new footage too, so it might give all of us a better idea as to what to except from some of the storyline we know very little about (Winterfell, Sansa and Brienne in particular)

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    15. We heard about the featurette several days ago, it was discussed in comments, but I get the feeling 28 minutes is just a placeholder running time. We don’t usually get “featurettes” that long so I was waiting on HBO’s response before posting anything. Hopefully they’ll get back to me ASAP because I’d hate to mislead anyone expecting a 28 min video and they get a less-than-ten minute featurette as usual.

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    16. Queenofthrones,

      This is why Apple’s iTunes Store did more to combat music piracy than anything else. Paying a dollar for a track instead of pirating it’s? Sure: what is a dollar? It is a lot less than the $15 to buy a whole CD.

      It will work the same way for most pirates of GoT. A small amount to watch it now will not feel as bad as subscribing to cable, and it can be much more convenient (and better quality) than an illegal download.

      (There will always be the people who enjoy the piracy more than the product: but that will be true for anything!)

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    17. The Hound,

      Yeah, but the Ice and Fire thing was 14mins and a half long. I think we’ll get something similar, it could be around 20 mins as long as they have enough interesting interviews.
      The Ice and Fire featurette had just a few minutes of scenes from season 4, most of it being behind the camera stuff, we did get some exciting stuff though like our first look at Meereen and Drogon 😀 (hopefully no Drogon this time around).
      The title is a bit strange though “A day in the life”, with “Ice and Fire: A Foreshadowing” it was easy to deduce what we’ll get from it :/

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    18. Greenjones,

      Do you think it is at all significant that the CV specifies her role cannot be revealed until the show airs? Maybe it’s not worth noting, but I know we’ve at least gotten character names for other minor castings this year.

      …i.e. Master Eaten IIRC

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    19. The Hound:
      Trailer in two weeks! (I hope)
      Don’t break my heart HBO

      From your keyboard to TPTB’s collective ears, Hound! I just realized Sat while starting a GoT rewatch of season 2 how I miss it. I mean, I miss TWoW coming out more, but GoT S5 is just around the corner in comparison.

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    20. Balerion The Cat:
      I finally found it, so yeah it looks like it’s just like last year’s Ice and Fire, judging by the runtime (28 mins). http://i.imgur.com/82nkJCm.png?1
      Since last year they’ve also aired the Ice and Fire featurette in the beggining of February I think it’s safe to think that we’ll also get our first trailer in mid January like last year

      GET HYPE!!!

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    21. Lion of Night,

      I think she is just playing a small role but she/her agents haven’t revealed it yet to be on the safe side. Just like the actors who’ve filled the remaining roles from the casting calls and filmed for s5 but have still given no indication of their casting.

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