Game of Thrones Season 5 might only have just kicked off, but the latest instalment of the HBO epic is already breaking piracy records.
Despite the American broadcaster’s best efforts to stem dodgy GoT-themed downloads, some 32 million people accessed pirated episodes of the fifth series within a week of the first episode airing, according to new figures released by media intelligence firm Tru Optik (via TorrentFreak).
The show’s pirated success echoes its billing as the biggest show currently on TV, having smashed broadcasting ratings records in the US this month.
It should be noted that these piracy figures have been bolstered by the fact that the show’s first four episodes leaked online ahead of launch alongside an accompanying ‘A Day in the Life’ documentary.
It is believed that the season’s opening episode has already been downloaded some 13 million times through torrent sites, including 1 million times in the US alone.
The UK ranked sixth on the Game of Thrones piracy charts – a chart led by our American cousins – accounting for 4.7 per cent of illegal downloads.
Of those gaining illegal access to the dragon-packing series, 43.5 per cent opted for a 720p HD feed.
It appears that pirates aren’t too fussed about image quality, however, with 35.1 per cent of downloads recorded at a lowly 480p resolution compared with just 21.4 per cent at 1080p Full HD.
“In the US alone, nearly one million consumers downloaded Episode 1, which translates to $44 million in unmonetized demand potential if each of these viewers subscribed to HBO Now for the 3-month duration of GoT Season 5,” the Tru Optik report read.
“Many of these viewers are prime prospects for unbundled services like HBO Now.”
HBO Now landed as a subscription-based on-demand catch-up service earlier this month, with the Sky Go and BBC iPlayer stablemate launching to coincide with the latest Game of Thrones series.