Game Of Thrones On Track To Be Most Pirated Show Of 2012; Pirates Still Asking HBO For Legitimate Options

from the blame-matthew-inman? dept

Much like the North, Game of Thrones cannot be held—it's too big and too wild. Matthew Inman warned HBO that they should make their content more accessible or risk driving people to piracy, but that isn't really HBO's style. Now jilocasin points us to the news that Game of Thrones is well on track to be the most torrented show of 2012, and nobody can deny that HBO's foolish subscriber-only distribution is a primary reason for that. Approximately 25-million times have people decided to pay the iron price for the show, and as the comments on Reddit attest, it's often because the gold price wasn't even an option. Others pay for the show but still pirate for the sake of occasional convenience:

Sometimes I just want to fire up an episode and watch it on my laptop immediately and with mobility as I'm wandering around the house, and not worry about streaming/quality issues or finding a disk, setting up the DVD player etc. I am truly lazy.

Meanwhile, Game of Thrones continues to have great ratings. And the torrent piracy count doesn't include streams, which are also hugely popular, so it only represents a fraction of the pirate world. Why not create new ways to legitimize some of those viewers, especially considering so many of them have said they want to be legitimized? I still contend that HBO-style shows owe a lot to piracy for their cultural dominance, because, if they were actually as exclusive as HBO wants to pretend they are, they would have had a much harder time gathering fans. But HBO co-president Eric Kessler thinks cord-cutting is a fad, so like most characters in the show, he's fighting silly battles while ignoring what's really going on.

Filed Under: eric kessler, game of thrones, piracy, television, torrent
Companies: hbo

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  1. icon
    Eponymous Coward (profile), 11 May 2012 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Scientific Proof of the success of paywalls!

    Talking science, eh? Well, let's proceed down that path a bit.

    You have here an anecdote, a single instance, proving nothing apart from "this is how it happened this time". If you want something approaching proof, you're going to need a bit more rigor in your method. Here's what I propose:

    Create 3 unique products of equal quality and general appeal (this is the tricky bit). For the first, put it behind a paywall with no possible way to obtain it apart from going through said paywall. The second, behind a paywall with options to circumvent the paywall. The third, open and free to all.

    Release these products into the wild and see what happens, then report your findings back to us. I'll make no predictions, and I'll encourage you to refrain from speaking in absolutes until you've tested your hypothesis.

    Anecdotally, I pirate the hell out of the current season of GoT because, with cable and HBO package upgrades, it would cost me about $50/month to watch it "legally". I pay for my basic cable and watch a fair amount of programs there, so the aggregate value is solid, but there is no reasonable pricing plan for current GoT content. I bought the first season on DVD (then ripped/converted it for portability and ease of use), and, again, WOULD PAY for the current season, but there's no way to buy only that, so HBO can pound sand until Season 2 comes out on DVD.

    In closing, please seed.

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