Game of Thrones continues to shatter all piracy records ever in the history of things. Once again, they’ve broken their own record. As in, the one set they set just last week, when Season 5, Episode 5 “Kill The Boy” notched 2.2 million P2P downloads in 12 hours and 3.22 million in a 24 hour period. That record was only a couple of weeks old itself, as, due to the massive leak of the first four episodes caused Game of Thrones to shatter not only one day records, but one week records.
Someone tell the Pirate King his crown’s been stolen
This past Sunday’s episode, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” reset the one day benchmark once again. According to Variety:
The sixth episode of “GoT” season five notched 3.5 million individual users on peer-to-peer file-sharing sites, according to piracy-tracking firm Excipio. The previous record was held by episode 5 of the current season of “Game of Thrones,” which reached 3.22 million in the 24-hour period after it hit piracy sites….
It’s worth noting that the piracy stats Excipio tracks are only for P2P file-sharing sites, so those exclude piracy-streaming sites. That means the number of illicit viewers is likely far higher than the 3.5 million registered so far.
Game of Thrones seems to be in a bit of a mid-season slump when it comes to week-to-week ratings, even though it still continues to win Sunday nights decisively. But on line, it’s a different story, as users race to download episodes every week. (And the controversy surrounding this week’s episode probably didn’t help matters in that regard. All publicity is good publicity.)
Despite HBO pouring money into HBO Now, and airing every episode in a world wide simulcast, it seems like their efforts have turned out to be incommensurate with the scale of the problem. After all, a simulcast doesn’t solve piracy problems, if the people in those countries don’t get the exclusive pay channel (or the exclusive pay channel that is partner to HBO.) As for HBO Now, it’s US only, so that’s not helping outside our borders. Inside them, some might suggest part of the reason HBO Now didn’t stem the tide was the refusal to make it available to a much broader spectrum of viewers. Right now, you either have to have Cablevision or an Apple TV set box in order to access it. It should be pointed out that Apple TV set top boxes are not nearly as prevalent as Roku boxes, and was even beaten by newcomer Gooogle Chromecast last year. Meanwhile, Cablevision is the ninth largest cable TV provider, with only a fraction of the audience base that, say Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, or Verizon FIOS have. In some ways, that “walled garden” approach to releasing HBO Now has worked in HBO’s favor. Unlike other streaming services that HBO built their platform on, like MLB.tv and the WWE Network, HBO Now has been almost entirely glitch free, something MLB.tv can’t even say after a decade of running. But it does have a price, as the piracy numbers continue to rise.
Next: Take the Black Podcast – Episode 506 – Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken
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