Lots of people like Game of Thrones, but a lot of them clearly don't like paying to watch it. The show has been the most pirated TV show for the past few years running, and it looks like this year will be no exception. It turns out the seventh season was pirated roughly one billion times.
Piracy is difficult to accurately trace, especially where streaming is concerned, but those figures come from piracy tracking organisation MUSO. It claims that the season as a whole was pirated over a billion times, meaning each episode was downloaded roughly 140 million times - far more than the 32 million average views each episode got from legitimate sources around the world.
Unsurprisingly the majority of the piracy came from streaming services, which accounted for 84.7 per cent. Torrents only accounted for 9.1 per cent, direct downloads for 5.6 per cent, and private torrent trackers for 0.6 per cent.
MUSO CEO Andy Chatterley claims that the number of leaks certainly didn't help the piracy issue, noting that the leaked sixth episode had higher piracy levels than the finale.
It's worth mentioning that these figures are only estimates, with information sourced from SimilarWeb. SimilarWeb uses a sample of 200 million devices to estimate web traffic, with the data covering data extrapolated from thousands of popular pirated sites.
So while it's not going to be totally accurate, having such a large sample size and using the most popular services in the data does mean they can get a good picture of what's going on. It's also worth pointing out that MUSO's data doesn't include data from China, which is infamous for its online piracy, and alternative sources like Kodi streams.
There have been a number of very unsurprising headlines this week, but this one is probably the least surprising of them all. People like Game of Thrones, and people like to partake in a lot of online piracy. Who ever would have guessed. [MUSO via TorrentFreak]