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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pirates Love A Game of Thrones

Posted by on Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Nic Healey of CNET reports that Game of Thrones is now the most torrented TV show in the world:

Within hours of airing, episode one of season three had smashed the previous swarm record (the total number of seeders and leechers), which had been held by the season three premiere of Heroes.

According to TorrentFreak, 163,088 people were sharing one single torrent of the Game of Thrones episode, just under 20,000 more than the Heroes record. By the next day, 1 April, conservative estimates of the number of seeded torrents suggested that the episode had been downloaded at least 1 million times.

I know that not all those people would pay to stream Game of Thrones, but I bet a significant portion of them would. And I'm not one of those people who thinks that every bit of media has to be available to every consumer at every moment on every platform—releasing movies exclusively in theaters first is a good way to make a movie into an event, for example—but I do think that television shows have traditionally been most successful when large groups of people are watching them at the same time. It would work in HBO's favor if they made Game of Thrones available; clearly, a large number of people consider it to be event television, and they're not willing to wait for the DVD release.

(Also: Is anyone else shocked to learn that the first episode of season three of Heroes was still the record holder for total number of seeders and leechers at the beginning of 2013? Also also: Is anyone else shocked to learn that there was a third season of Heroes?)


Comments (17) RSS

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derrickito 1
Frack off, browncoat
-Captain Kirk
Posted by derrickito on April 2, 2013 at 10:58 AM · Report this
Cory 2
Rule of three, I guess.
Posted by Cory on April 2, 2013 at 11:01 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 3
The people who torrent shows/movies should find some way to donate money to the show's producers.

I understand people not wanting to subscribe to a thousand useless cable channels just to watch a single show, but by watching a show and not paying anything at all for it, it sends a message that shows like that aren't worth producing.

There are a shit load of garbage reality shows out there because they're cheap to make. A show like Game of Thrones is not cheap. Good shows like that will become more and more rare, and shit like Honey Boo Boo will become more common if everyone steals everything.

/just sayin'...
Posted by Urgutha Forka on April 2, 2013 at 11:08 AM · Report this
Gordon Werner 4
I buy each season in HD via iTunes ... Just wish they (HBO) wouldn't delay releasing it that way and instead release episodes like other shows
Posted by Gordon Werner on April 2, 2013 at 11:11 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 5

How soon do they offer that? Is it a relatively short period after the episode airs or many months like the DVDs?
Posted by keshmeshi on April 2, 2013 at 11:18 AM · Report this

It's about the same time frame as DVD's and Blu-rays
Posted by arbeck on April 2, 2013 at 11:23 AM · Report this
@5 last year it was after all episodes aired
Posted by To lazy to make an account on April 2, 2013 at 11:25 AM · Report this
Yo ho ho the same night for me. Don't have any reason to wait to pay money.
Posted by The CHZA on April 2, 2013 at 11:27 AM · Report this
Paul, there's a serious flaw in your logic. If HBO made a legal streaming version available, they'd have to price it high enough so that people wouldn't ditch their HBO subscriptions to stream it instead. If enough people ditched their subscriptions, they might not pick up enough revenue from new customers to make up the difference.

And that's not even taking into account all the billing and infrastructure they'd have to set up to make this work.

HBO isn't dumb. They know at some point they're going to be streaming. But until they can do it with out making less money, they aren't going to do it. When you look at it this way, the pirates aren't costing them any money.
Posted by arbeck on April 2, 2013 at 11:32 AM · Report this
Josh Bis 10
arbeck @9 has it right. The number of torrenters is still much smaller than the number of people currently paying for an HBO subscription. And the number of pirates who'd be willing to pay enough to make it worth HBO's while is probably infinitesimally smaller.

HBO has talked about making their streaming service available to people who use preferred cable -affiliated internet providers as an approximate compromise that might not be too detrimental to their (or their cable company infrastructure/billing/advertising) bottom line.
Posted by Josh Bis on April 2, 2013 at 11:57 AM · Report this
gttim 11
I would pay to see it. As it stands now, I wait until Netflix has the DVD and watch it as part of my Netflix package. I wait a year, but HBO isn't making as much off me as they could. You figure they have some people doing calculations to find the price point to stream it at a price to maximize profit.
Posted by gttim on April 2, 2013 at 12:36 PM · Report this

However, if they priced HBO low enough for you to be willing to pay; they might lose 10 paying customers to streaming. If that lost isn't made up by how much you pay; then it impossible for them to make any more money off of you than they already do.
Posted by arbeck on April 2, 2013 at 12:47 PM · Report this
meh. I torrent it, and then when the Blu ray comes out I buy that. I think it all balances out.
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on April 2, 2013 at 1:08 PM · Report this
Dougsf 14
Heros? Wasn't that shit on, like, channel 5?

The software company Adobe did something brilliant recently—with the majority of their income coming from enterprise customers, and knowing full well piracy was rampant among home users (that, plus education pricing helped maintain their market dominance), they started offering access to their products for a subscription fee that was far less than owning them outright. After 10 years of pirated versions, I bit, and I'm happy I did. Getting off track...

Maybe for HBO a similar approach (I get that they're already subscription based, but a staggered episode rental, or leasing certain programs after they air to Hulu, which I'm sure would cost Hulu a fortune, could work) compare to the kind of money they make from cable providers, but if I were them I'd definitely be experimenting to find the sweet spot.
Posted by Dougsf on April 2, 2013 at 1:25 PM · Report this
Dougsf 15
I second thought, my analogy is wrong. If you pay for HBO for a single show, chances are you're going to be paying year-in and year-out. That's gold, and they probably aren't going to mess with it. Die-hard fans can buy the DVDs later.

Arguing with myself in a public forum... probably not OK.
Posted by Dougsf on April 2, 2013 at 1:35 PM · Report this
Fenrox 16
Dude! If they just had the show for a dollar, HBO would have 1 MILLION DOLLARS!

(Each episode costs more than that.)
Posted by Fenrox on April 2, 2013 at 3:06 PM · Report this
@9,10 - what about people who don't want to pay for cable, and who don't use "preferred cable-affiliated internet providers" (whatever that means)? That's my situation and I would certainly pay for an HBO subscription so that I could access online streaming shows. Why exactly is HBO so behold to the cable cabal?
Posted by boyd main on April 2, 2013 at 3:47 PM · Report this

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