I was going to add this as an update to the Game of Thrones post from yesterday, but then decided to do a separate post.
According to the TorrentFreak site, which publishes all kinds of data and notes about downloading and torrents, season 2 of Game of Thrones was the most downloaded TV series for 2012 on BitTorrent. One episode from season 2 was downloaded 4,280,000 times via BitTorrent which, according to TorrentFreak, is a higher number than the number of people in America who watched that episode when it was aired by HBO.
If you apply a previous statistic I saw that each TV series or episode or movie downloaded is shared 2.2 times (i.e., copies given to 2.2 other people) then that makes the 4,280,000 become 9,416,000. So you can see why TV studios are beginning to get very concerned about illegal downloading.
For anyone interested the Top 10 TV series illegally downloaded via the torrents in 2012 were, in order (according to TorrentFreak, here):
- Game of Thrones.
- The Big Bang Theory.
- How I Met Your Mother.
- Breaking Bad.
- The Walking Dead.
Note that this is based on torrent downloads. It is likely that about half as many again have probably been downloaded via NNTP (Usenet) because this is where the ‘serious’ downloaders get their stuff because downloading via NNTP is more anonymous and much harder to track. In many cases it is also faster.
One of the biggest issues with downloading via torrents is that even days after you have done the download your crumb trail can remain in the torrent swarms and your end-point IP address can still be decoded.