Game of Thrones again turned out to be the most-pirated TV show of 2013, according to a report from Torrent Freak. The show was downloaded an estimated 5.9 million times, besting its proportion of conventional television viewers, which clocks in at 5.5 million. That is a 37 percent increase from 2012, when Torrent Freak estimated Game of Thrones was downloaded 4.28 million times.
As the New York Times points out, illegal downloads grew about 10 percent in 2013, with 327 million unique users navigating 13.9 billion webpages that handle pirated movies and TV. The shows Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, The Big Bang Theory, and Dexter contributed another 14.3 million downloads between them.
2013 also saw plenty of industry leaders endorsing illegal downloading in one way or another. Game of Thrones director David Petrarca said the show thrives on “cultural buzz” in part generated by pirates; Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said that Game of Thrones’ status as the most pirated show was “better than an Emmy;” Netflix stated that it uses piracy statistics to determine what types of shows to produce or license; Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan said piracy “helped… in terms of brand awareness.” The Walking Dead executive producer Gale Ann Hurd disagreed, calling the idea that piracy does good for content a “mistaken belief” and saying the activity is not something “we should encourage.”
via Ars Technica http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/index/~3/zE4GmBz0mTo/