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Game of Thrones Piracy: ‘Huge’ illegal download numbers finally revealed

The Game of Thrones season 7 premiere was illegally downloaded more than 90 million times, according to the latest piracy data.

Last weekend, hit TV series Game of Thrones returned to our TV screens for a seventh season and, as usual, online piracy figures for the premiere were through the roof. Thankfully, piracy monitoring firm MUSO has published fresh data about illegal downloads for the first episode of the new season, giving us an idea of the scale of the problem.

According to the data, the season opener of Game of Thrones was pirated an incredible 90 million times in just three days. Importantly, the majority of this traffic didn’t come from direct torrent downloads – as may have previously been the case – but through a new wave of copyright-infringing streaming services.

The data shows that 77,913,032 views of the new season came from these dodgy streaming portals, while torrent traffic was restricted to just 8,356,382 downloads. A further 4,949,298 views were allocated to direct download sites, while the remaining 523,109 were sourced through private torrent networks.

In a statement, MUSO CEO Andy Chatterley said: “There is no denying that these figures are huge, so they’re likely to raise more than a few eyebrows in the mainstream industry, but it’s in line with the sort of scale we see across piracy sites and should be looked at objectively.”

He continued: “What we’re seeing here isn’t just P2P torrent downloads but unauthorised streams and every type of piracy around the premiere. This is the total audience picture, which is usually unreported.”

It’s worth noting that MUSO’s figures are only an estimate based on data from web-based traffic tracker SimilarWeb, which means that Chinese streaming and torrent traffic isn’t included. It’s not clear how much that would’ve boosted the figures.

Here are the countries with the highest piracy activity for the new Game of Thrones premiere, according to MUSO:

  • USA: 15 million
  • UK: 6.2 million
  • Germany: 4.9 million
  • India: 4.3 million
  • Indonesia: 4.3 million
  • Philippines: 4.2 million
  • Canada: 3.2 million
  • France: 2.9 million
  • Turkey: 2.8 million
  • Vietnam: 2.4 million
  • Australia: 2.2 million
  • Russian Federation: 2.2 million
  • Netherlands: 1.8 million
  • Brazil: 1.8 million
  • Malaysia: 1.7 million

The next episode of Game of Thrones airs in the USA on Sunday night, or at 2am on Monday here in the UK.

Related: Watch Game of Thrones online

What do you think about online piracy? Let us know in the comments.

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