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Premiere of final Game of Thrones season triggers piracy bonanza

Birdseye

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
12,861
With hundreds of thousands of people flocking to torrent and streaming sites, the premiere of Game of Thrones' final season has once again ignited a piracy feast. This morning over 120,000 BitTorrent users are actively sharing copies of the episode, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Yesterday the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones premiered, generating a massive demand on both legal and less-authorized channels.

The first episode came out a few hours early for some people on DirectTV Now, adding to the long history of Game of Thrones leaks.

Not much later, the season premiere was also widely available on various pirate sites. The first pirate releases were not sourced from the leak, however. They came from Amazon and were put online just minutes the show officially became available online.

Traditionally, Game of Thrones has been the most pirated TV-show in history, and it soon became apparent that this may also be the case with the final season.

At the time of writing, more than 120,000 people are actively sharing one of the three most-popular torrents. And at The Pirate Bay, the five most popular releases are all Game of Thrones episodes.

Like every year, the total number of downloads is eventually expected to run to several million per episode.

Part of this unofficial audience prefers piracy over a paid subscription. However, the fact that pirate copies are available before the official release in many countries doesn’t help either.

In absolute numbers, there are fewer people sharing the episodes via BitTorrent than a few years ago. The absolute record dates back to 2015, when over a quarter million people were simultaneously sharing a single file. This is in part because the piracy ecosystem has evolved.

HBO and other related rightsholders are already working hard to take fresh links offline, or at least remove them from search engines, but history has shown that putting a serious dent in Game of Thrones piracy isn’t easy.
Full article: https://torrentfreak.com/premiere-of-final-game-of-thrones-season-triggers-piracy-bonanza-190415/
 

RoninChaos

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,410
I always wondered if game of thrones piracy is what made HBO come up with HBO now because the piracy numbers were off the chain.
 

Thrill_house

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,766
Damn yall calm it down. HBO now is only like 15 bucks. Cancel it after the season is over as I'm going to do...until Westworld hits that is.
 

artsip

Member
Oct 26, 2017
571
Finland
Doesn't relate to piracy, but HBO streaming services really need to catch up with Netflix.
The image quality is abysmal for such high budget show, especially after coming from Netflix 4K / HDR movies and series.
 

Desparadina

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
336
yeah it's better to get HBO Now instead, and you'd only have to pay maybe twice considering how short this season is
 

KHarvey16

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,172
At this point this might as well be a Word template where the season number and dates are changed.
 

Arjen

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
1,049
I doubt they even care that much, or they would have made it easier available legally.
Here you need to have a certain TV provider to even have the option to pay for it.
 

Zeusy

Avenger
Oct 30, 2017
794
Doesn't relate to piracy, but HBO streaming services really need to catch up with Netflix.
The image quality is abysmal for such high budget show, especially after coming from Netflix 4K / HDR movies and series.
I agree, I pay for hbo but man do I wish I could see this in 4k!!
 

alr1ght

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,441
I really doubt HBO cares all that much. I doubt it would have become such a mainstream phenomenon without people pirating the earlier seasons and through word of mouth, more people signed up for HBO to watch it legitimately.
 

Rendering...

Member
Oct 30, 2017
9,570
Imagine how much more money HBO would make simply by allowing people to rent/buy each episode for a two or three dollars apiece, worldwide, at the same time, instead of trying to funnel people toward their subscription service.

Hell, they'd make thousands on 99-cent downloads.
 

IDreamOfHime

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,608
GOT is the true treasure for pirates.
I remember when GOT 1st started in the UK and it was exclusive to Sky TV customers. You were expected to pay a hundred'ish bucks a month and be locked into an 18 month contract just for the privilege of getting to watch GOT for a few months a year.
I can't help but feel the rampant piracy that followed from this awesome business decision caused HBO to out pressure on Sky to create their Now TV streaming service and make GOT available at a reasonable price.
 

Smash-It Stan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,067
If it cost them any amount of money they would have it available in as many places ad possible. HBO don't care
 

Poimandres

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,794
Damn yall calm it down. HBO now is only like 15 bucks. Cancel it after the season is over as I'm going to do...until Westworld hits that is.
The service Game of Thrones is locked to in Australia is $60+ a month, and has far less appealing content then say Netflix for example.

There is a reason why the show is so widely pirated in Australia. Nobody really talks about piracy here at all... Until Game of Thrones rolls around.
 

DrKelpo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,878
Germany
Part of this unofficial audience prefers piracy over a paid subscription. However, the fact that pirate copies are available before the official release in many countries doesn’t help either.
Yeah, I think that's a big factor... If I look at myself a few seasons ago, there was no way to watch the newest episode right when it came out, but you are part of the global community and want to watch the latest stuff...it's not freaking 1995 anymore. So of course you look for other alternatives. Today it's possible here to pay a few bucks and watch it legally a few hours after it airs on US television. Of course a lot people do this.
There will always be people who won't pay and there is no way to prevent this, but create legal affordable alternatives and people will pay.
 

henhowc

Member
Oct 26, 2017
15,443
Los Angeles, CA
The students who live on the college campus I work at actually get free HBO GO access but I'm still expecting the DMCA notifications to start flooding in.
 

Pwnz

Member
Oct 28, 2017
7,265
Places
Lot of people are gonna get notices. If you use torrents on a public site like that without a VPN anyway.
 

ibrahima

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
1,446
I can't help but feel the rampant piracy that followed from this awesome business decision caused HBO to out pressure on Sky to create their Now TV streaming service and make GOT available at a reasonable price.
I've dipped in and out of Now TV and the selection is surprisingly good on the TV and Movie passes. The only problem is that it is 720p.

They don't really make that very clear unless you dig into their community site. I guess they don't want to compete with their own offering via Sky?

It's a shame really. 720p streaming content has generally been ok for a while but on a vaguely modern 4k set you can definitely see the difference between that and other providers.
 

ChrisR

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,332
I'm sure the episode leaking early on torrents got more than a few legit HBO viewers to jump on board... When it's this hyped as much as this is I can understand not wanting to wait.

HBO should have made it available for everyone after it leaked
 

shadow2810

Member
Oct 25, 2017
862
It's $20/month in Canada for 1080p/stereo on mobile or 720p/mono on desktop... meanwhile it took 5 seconds to find a 1080p/5.1ch torrent...
fucking Bell...
 

Haribo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
521
I got the HBONOW 7 day trial and almost a third of the premiere episode is pitch dark smh. Not that piracy is okay but HBO Now is a ripoff.
 

CloseTalker

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,863
Damn yall calm it down. HBO now is only like 15 bucks. Cancel it after the season is over as I'm going to do...until Westworld hits that is.
HBO Now isn't available in most countries. I know Canada has, relative to population size, actually been among the highest density of piracy for the show because of how difficult it is to watch legally. That's now a bit different with the Crave subscription service, but you're still asking folks to pay for a service they may not want just to also gain access to HBO.

Long story short: HBO needs to make their content more easily accessible outside of the US. People are willing to pay.
 

AegonSnake

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,005
I use my brothers HBO go account and the stream quality was amazing last night. it felt like i was watching a 4k stream.
 

Scarface

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,420
Canada
Bell absolutely dropped the ball last night in Canada. Constant buffering, slowdown and speed up, app crashes and a 720p resolution. Its absurd that a corporation that big is so utterly incompetent. Ill buy the bluray when it comes out (as I always do) but i will be cancelling crave and I pursue other measures to watch the show. Sad as it is.
 

Muffin

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,457
Here in Germany the only legal option to watch this is a 720p stream so piracy will actually get you way better quality.
I signed up to Sky Ticket today for exactly this reason, it's pretty shit. Hours later after creating my account I still can't access my personal data to do things like end the subscription next month, and there are no damn subtitles whatsoever. As a non-native english speaker, english subtitles are a must to me.
 

Dabanton

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,687
Went to a GoT house party and the show was played through the Crave app to the TV which was cool.

But even that's $19.99 a month as you need the movies+HBO package why they make it so hard for people to give them money directly I don't know.
 

FallenHeroX1

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,290
I enjoy HBO now. The app is shit so we watch everything through primes app. Wouldn’t want to rip them off when I enjoy their content. Shame. Shame. Shame.
 

Br3wnor

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
2,474
HBO Go stream was pretty good last night, no complaints. I do feel for those in countries that don’t have cheap access to HBO, I can understand where some of the piracy is coming from. I can’t imagine HBO is too concerned at this point, they’ve gotten so many legitimate subs from it and ultimately GOT is what it is culturally in big part due to the millions that watch it illegally.
 

a916

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,305
I'm paying for it, but damnit if I didn't wish that Canadians didn't get shafted with stereo sound in 2019 and barely 1080p.