Game of Thrones has become the most pirated show for the third year running, and many people want to know why. It is not even a close second for The Walking Dead, which is a whopping 3.3 million downloads behind the number one spot. In comparison, The Big Bang Theory takes third place at just 0.9 million downloads behind The Walking Dead.
So, why is Game of Thrones so popular for the torrent users? What makes this one show so alluring for the illegal pirates? There are many theories, and they are not just around the show’s content itself.
The main theory is the fact that the show is aired on HBO. This channel has a hefty cable subscription price that people either do not want or cannot afford to pay. To top things off, those who want to watch the show online still need that cable subscription rather than paying an online subscription price. It leads to many choosing not to bother and downloading it online for free shortly after the episode airs.
HBO seems to recognize that this is a major issue. In fact, many fans have admitted that they will pay to watch the show online if they did not need to get the cable subscription. So, in 2015—hopefully in time for Game of Thrones Season 5—the network is going to offer an online subscription-only plan.
Is that really all that makes Game of Thrones the most pirated show for the third year running? Chances are that money is not everything. One of the factors to consider is the large international base of fans.
People around the world want to know what will happen next, with many of them putting off the books to see how the show does it first. The problem is international audiences get the episodes a day or more later, and it forces them to avoid all the spoilers online for the episodes. Avoiding spoilers is not the easiest thing to do, so international Game of Thrones fans are more likely to download the episodes illegally to watch just hours later instead.
However, that still does not explain why Game of Thrones has become so popular. After all, international audiences for other shows sometimes have to wait months to watch the latest seasons of their favorite shows. Supernatural Season 9 is only just coming to U.K. screens, despite the show already being at the midseason finale for its 10th season.
The large following and great storytelling is certainly a factor that draws viewers in. Unless fans have read the books, audiences just never know where the show will go with the storylines. Even those who have read the books are shocked at some of the little extras that the show runners and writers have added in. For example, the infamous Red Wedding was made even more gruesome in the show with the killing of Tarisa Stark and her unborn child.
All the elements together have certainly helped the show. However, HBO needs to do something. Game of Thrones is the most pirated show for the third year running, and if people do not figure out why, it could be for the fourth year running in 2015.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham