The big picture: Pirates seem to set sails further than ever as HBO's eagerly awaited Game of Thrones premiered last Sunday. Returning for its final season, the show quickly spread across illegal streaming services, download and torrent sites for people either unwilling or unable to pay HBO its due share.
According to analytics firm MUSO, the hit HBO show has yet to convince people to pay for their entertainment as nearly 55 million pirated views happened within the first 24 hours of the premiere going live.
Breaking down the piracy figures revealed illegal streams accounted for 76.6%, downloads 12.2% and torrents at just over 11% of the total views. What's interesting to note are the countries leading these figures where admittedly HBO is difficult to legitimately access.
India led the way with 10 million of these views and China, where a censored version is aired officially came in second with 5 million streams. Since HBO Now is unavailable outside of the US, it's likely that people opt for piracy instead of subscribing to their local pricey TV packages. Amusingly, the US stood third with just shy of 4 million views despite HBO's easy accessibility. It seems nothing beats the price of free.
With five more episodes to go, the viewership, both legit and pirated is likely to increase. Is it accessibility, cost, or both that has led to the current state of piracy?