The TV phenomenon of the century just broke the one record they actually didn’t want to beat.
Game Of Thrones surpassed a billion illegal views.
According to anti-piracy analyst firm MUSO, the show’s seventh season was pirated 1.03 billion times as of September 3. While the epic premiere had a nearly 50 per cent audience increase from last season’s premiere with 16.1 million viewers, a staggering 187.4 million – more than ten times as many – saw it through illegal means.
The season finale had similar numbers. While Entertainment Weekly stated the episode was the most-watched ever in TV history, breaking even HBO’s own rating records with 16.5 million views, episode seven was illegally seen 143.4 million times.
MUSO further breaks down the numbers, stating that 84.7 per cent of total illegal viewers saw the show on a surreptitious streaming site, while 9.1 per cent downloaded it as a torrent file.
“Game Of Thrones has become one of the biggest global entertainment phenomena of today and activity across piracy networks has been totally unprecedented,” MUSO CEO Andy Chatterley states. “In addition to the scale of piracy when it comes to popular shows, these numbers demonstrate that unlicensed streaming can be a far more significant type of piracy than torrent downloads.”
Although the actual economical impact of piracy is still debated, in 2010 the Directors Guild of America calculated the annual cost of global piracy for American companies at $25 billion in lost sales. According to their study, this equates to 375,000 jobs lost each year. These numbers are similar to a separate study in 2006 commissioned by the Motion Picture Association of America that found film piracy cost the US economy some $20.5 billion.
For all of you stats junkies out there, this is the breakdown of illegal views per episode as reported by MUSO:
- Episode 1: 187,427,575
- Episode 2: 123,901,209
- Episode 3: 116,027,851
- Episode 4: 121,719,868
- Episode 5: 151,569,560
- Episode 6: 184,913,279
- Episode 7: 143,393,804
- All Episode Bundles – Season 7: 834,522
TOTAL = 1,029,787,668