Game of Thrones Premiere Piracy: A Million Downloads in Half A Day

Karloff

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Game of Thrones Premiere Piracy: A Million Downloads in Half A Day



At its peak, over 300,000 BitTorrent users were sharing the first episode of season four simultaneously.

Game of Thrones is one of the most pirated series out there, and the first episode of the latest season was no exception. According to TorrentFreak, just half a day after the episode appeared online over a million people grabbed a copy via a torrent site. At the peak of this download frenzy, over 300,000 people were sharing one of the three most popular torrents at once; over 140,000 of those were using the same torrent.

Australia [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/130859-Game-of-Thrones-is-Most-Pirated-TV-Show-For-Second-Year] is still home to the biggest bunch of pirates in the whole wide world, with 11.6% of the total coming from the land down under, 3.2% of that coming from Melbourne alone. Sydney, Brisbane and Perth are all among the top ten pirate cities. Those law-abiding folks of the U.S.A. are next up in the rankings, with 9.3% of the traffic, though none of its cities seem to have made the top ten rankings. However TorrentFreak admits it collected its data within the first 12 hours of the episode airing, which can result in a geographic bias.

Demand for the episode was so great that HBO Go crashed and burned for several hours after it aired, which made torrents all the more enticing. When this issue came up last December, HBO CEO Jeff Hawkes called the Game of Thrones piracy achievement "better than an Emmy." Maybe that's just him putting a brave face on; after all, nobody knows better than he that, whatever HBO says or does, Game of Thrones is still going to be the pirates' darling. After all, in 2013 each episode garnered 4.3 million downloads on average. Yet the situation doesn't seem to affect DVD sales [http://torrentfreak.com/hbo-game-of-thrones-piracy-is-a-compliment-doesnt-hurt-sales-130401/], and there's a strong argument for saying that anyone who watches a popular show like this, however they watch it, becomes an ambassador for it and secures more viewers.

On a separate but not entirely unrelated note, the folks at Xbox LIVE entertainment Tweet [https://twitter.com/XboxEntertain/statuses/453306198683815936] that the latest Game of Thrones episode will be up for free on Xbox Video. Just goes to show: free suits some people just fine.

Speaking as a recent convert: you know what this show needs? More weddings. That'll drive viewer numbers through the roof ...

Source: TorrentFreak [http://torrentfreak.com/game-of-thrones-premiere-triggers-piracy-craze-140407/]


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Ne1butme

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If the HBO CEO is so happy about the downloads, why did my brother get an email from his ISP based on a DCMA complaint from HBO for downloading GOT?
 

RedBackDragon

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hey if they would just air the show in time overseas MAYBE not so manny people would pirate it , happy or not.

Australian here. and it sucks - in a world with facebook how can you not air it at the same time ? we wana see it too guys!!! our american friends see it and ruin it for us Months before we see it. its one of the big reasons i got off facebook , stop ruining mah walking dead dangit.

just saying that for the point rely , i haven't actually watched any game of thrones.
 

silverbullet1989

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I wonder what excuses they could come up with for not releasing season 3 on dvd till nearly a year after its release? Surely the longer it takes to get it out on dvd the more money they loose on people just pirating it.
 

PhoenixUp

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More weddings indeed.
You know, I think another one is coming up soon.
Maybe this one will be interesting too? ;)
 

Fdzzaigl

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Well, if they'd actually make it available in Europe (HBO Go is available in the Netherlands but not elsewhere I think), I'm sure a lot of people would buy it instead of pirating.

As it stands now, we have to wait almost a year before it airs on television here. And then some time before it comes out on dvd. Which also means that viewers in Europe are likely to hear spoilers everywhere on the internet before they can legitly buy it.
 

Anachronism

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HBO could make their lives so much easier and more profitable if they actually gave customers outside the USA a way to give them money. Netflix has proven that if you give people quality, convenient service at a reasonable price, they will flock to it, because it's just easier than pirating the content. If they made HBO Go available worldwide, which there doesn't seen to be any reason not to do, I'm pretty sure their profit margin would increase astronomically.

I'm not personally a fan of piracy - I'm in the UK and watch Game of Thrones on Sky - but I can completely understand why people pirate it. If HBO are going to make it difficult for people to give them money, they have only themselves to blame.
Karloff said:
Speaking as a recent convert: you know what this show needs? More weddings. That'll drive viewer numbers through the roof ...
Well, I believe next episode is going to feature one. Nothing could possibly go wrong this time, right?
 

Ickorus

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They should realise they have a great opportunity here, they could easily release a download with a small charge per episode and make a mint off of it; I bet most of the people pirating it have no other means of seeing the show and would probably be more than willing to pay a small amount (say, 50p to £1?) for a safe and legal download.

There's probably a bunch of things preventing this that I don't know about but I'd love to see them give it a shot.
 

Vivi22

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Ne1butme said:
why did my brother get an email from his ISP based on a DCMA complaint from HBO for downloading GOT?
Because he didn't encrypt his download traffic obviously.

Also, the ISP probably just did it on their own.
 

CyberAkuma

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They aren't boradcasting the show here in Sweden. It's not part of the regular network. Either you fucking make it work so that people can see it or people will find another (better) alternative way of getting it.

The people in the boradcasting channels here are complete fucking incompetent idiots

Also this:
Ickorus said:
They could easily release a download with a small charge per episode and make a mint off of it; I bet most of the people pirating it have no other means of seeing the show and would probably be more than willing to pay a small amount (say, 50p to £1?) for a safe and legal download.
 

MrHide-Patten

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Whoo Melbourne, #1 at somethin in the world. I'm strangely proud, suck it Rupert!
Oh boy I am sure glad Tony's gonna put an end to all that if his own volition, without somebody who basically did his media campaign for him, influence him in any way.
 

balladbird

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Doesn't surprise me to hear it. HBO needs to refine the way they make their content available online. When I tried to find a legal way to watch GoT online last year, I was mortified to find that what I expected to be a simple "give HBO money-stream show" process actually required me to subscribe to HBO's channels in addition to paying the fee, and since I don't have any television channels at all, that would also require me to go out and get cable or satellite... and it all snowballed from there.

Frankly, the current business model HBO is using leaves the thousands of people who no longer use television in the digital age with no legal means of watching the show, outside of buying the blu-rays annually. (which I do)
 

alj

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Nov 20, 2009
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What percentage of the people who downloaded it cannot watch it legally where they are in the world, you cannot complain that people download something if its not legally available where they are or they have to wait 6 months for it because reasons! In this modern day of the interwebs i should be able to pay HBO £6 a moth or something and be able to stream all of there back catalog and new shows from where ever i want when i want. But not allowing people to legally obtain something is not the best way to fight piracy is it.
 

Something Amyss

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MinionJoe said:
GoT is undoubtedly an excellent TV show.

But, to me, it's not worth the $15/mo HBO subscription fee.

So I'll just wait until it's released on Netflix.

In the meantime, Matt Lees can keep me up-to-date.
I keep wondering how many of these torrents would be averted if HBO had a better way of distributing the program. I wouldn't ind the 15 except it also means I have to pay nearly 100 bucks for cable because that's the bare minimum "tiers" needed in my portion of the country to get up to the point of HBO. I'd pay for HBO Go, if it was a service that didn't require HBO. But I can't afford over 100 dollars in cable monthly for a few shows.

I'll be waiting for the BD/DVD copies to come out. It's worked for me so far. It's just annoying.
 

BoogieManFL

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Apr 14, 2008
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They are paying the iron price for their Game of Thrones.



And if HBO didn't have a lot of crap on all the time, maybe they'd be more willing to pay the gold price.
 

Carnagath

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Not everyone is American, so there you go. Where I live, you either pirate it, or you catch a "secret" stream of it (which will probably involve a generous dose of gay porn at random times, courtesy of the streamer).
 

Elfgore

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MinionJoe said:
GoT is undoubtedly an excellent TV show.

But, to me, it's not worth the $15/mo HBO subscription fee.

So I'll just wait until it's released on Netflix.

In the meantime, Matt Lees can keep me up-to-date.
I can't confirm this, but I don't think HBO programs will ever be on netflix. It conflicts with their HBO Go. I currently know of zero titles from HBO on netflix.

But this doesn't shock me. HBO is expensive and they usually play crap 90% of the time.
 

Thaluikhain

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Heh, Australia is just better at piracy...

...

Really great opportunity to troll pirates by releasing an ep that is missing the last 5 minutes, there. I like creative anti-piracy measures.

...

Also, very annoying that Australia is so far behind the rest of the world getting TV. K9 was filmed locally in a Channel 10/BBC co-production, shown overseas long before Australia.

The third season of H2O: Just add water was made by an Australian company in Australia and is about Australians in Australia[footnote]Even if they don't wear uniforms at school[/footnote], but was shown in the UK some 2 years first. And then when they put it on Australia TV, they stopped for a bit after the first few episodes.