Few TV shows in recent years have gained as much attention as Game of Thrones. Originally debuting in 2011, Game of Thrones quickly developed a huge following and is now one of the most watched shows on television.
With Game of Thrones’ huge amount of popularity, a number of problems have begun to arrive. Since it is only available through HBO, which requires a premium subscription, a large number of people have taken to pirating the show.
Each time Game of Thrones airs, it sets a new record. On the last episode, it had over 200000 concurrent torrent downloads just on the night it aired. This number is on the rise, as the show’s popularity grows. Not mentioned are the countless people that watch it through streaming sites.
The main reason most people pirate the show is because they have no other choice. Junior Jake Seithel said, “I don’t have normal cable so I can’t get HBO. It’s a lot easier to just torrent it.” Many other people face similar situations.
One of the major problems Game of Thrones faces is its location on premium cable. While this allows it to have production values unheard of in normal television, it also limits the show’s potential viewers. Not everyone can afford HBO, and many people want it but don’t have basic cable (which is required to get HBO).
While HBO subscribers have access to HBO Go, which allows them to stream shows similarly to Netflix, it still requires a normal subscription. If HBO offered access to just that program, perhaps they would see more profit.
In reality, however, piracy isn’t that big of a problem in the whole scheme of things. Just the fact that people are able to see the show can have huge benefits. Most people who watch the show tell their friends about it, causing them watch it and tell their friends about it, and so on. Having instant access to a show allows it to spread much easily, increasing the number of actual subscribers.
It’s also important to note that not all of the money comes from subscriptions. Many people go and buy the books after watching the show, not to mention T-shirts, posters, and other merchandise.
Overall, the fact that people are pirating Game of Thrones isn’t that big of a deal. People will always find a way to get around paying for things, no matter what you try to do to stop it. If they would make it more accessible, however, a significantly smaller portion of people would need to download the show illegally.