Game of Thrones’ season 7 premiere, “Dragonstone” shattered viewing records last Sunday across HBO and streaming services. The episode clocked in at over 16 million views – the most for any premiere in the history of HBO. As impressive as that figure is, it doesn’t compare to the number of times the episode has been watched illegally.
Torrentfreak reports that MUSO, a company which analyzes piracy, says that “Dragonstone” has been illegally viewed more than 90 million times worldwide.
90. Million. Times. In less than a week!
While Game of Thrones regularly appears on most-pirated lists, 90 million is epically astonishing. Illegal streaming, torrenting, and direct downloads add up to a figure almost six times more than the legal viewing record the episode set.
The countries which are the biggest offenders include the United States (at 15.1 million illegal views), United Kingdom (6.2 million), Germany (4.9 million), India (4.3 million), and Indonesia (also 4.3 million).
MUSO cofounder 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. What we’re seeing here isn’t just P2P torrent downloads but unauthorized streams and every type of piracy around the premiere. This is the total audience picture, which is usually unreported.”
“Audience figures have always been a critical measure for studios and TV execs to assess the health of shows. The fact that there’s been over 90 million streams and downloads of the Game of Thrones season seven premiere outside of the official channels in the first three days since airing, not only shows just how popular this show is, but the massive opportunity to engage people and bring them back to legitimate mediums.“