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. identicon
    bob, 11 May 2012 @ 7:13am

    Scientific Proof of the success of paywalls!

    Let me include my obligatory praise of paywall systems. After Mike calls the HBO paywall "foolish", he goes on to celebrate the cultural significance of the shows. I like how he pretends that this is because of torrent streams.

    But we've done this experiment, science fans. There are dozens of torrent-only shows. All of the koolaid drinkers around here are making them and posting them. How many of them have 1/1000th of the "cultural significance" of HBO shows?

    So if you're a scientist, not a Paywall-denier on loan from the Global Warming denying website, you've got to believe that the paywall is a big part of HBO's success.

    Why? It gives them the money to pay professionals and nurture their talent. It collects the money directly instead of forcing the audience to support the show by purchasing a t-shirt they don't want to wear. This is why Mike is celebrating KickStarter, a site I call Paywall++. It cuts out the t-shirt-making middleman.

    So if we're going to grant HBO a modicum of "cultural significance" we've got to admit that the scientific method says that there's strong evidence that this is because of the paywall, not the torrent-based piracy.

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