It's that time of the year again, and the eagerly anticipated season premier of the hit HBO show Game of Thrones has again encouraged a surge of piracy. But unlike previous years, no records have been broken this year ... so far.
The previous season's season finale saw the record for the largest torrenting swarm broken, and this season's finale could again break the same record. But even without breaking any records, the number of downloads for the season 6 premier is significant, and hundreds of thousands of downloads had occurred within hours of the premier.
Again, Australia lead the charts when it comes to where downloaders are from, with 12.5% of downloaders coming from the land down under (where legal options can be expensive or out of reach to many). Australia was followed by India (9.7%), United States (8.5%) and the United Kingdom (6.9%) in terms of popularity.
The relatively low number of U.S. downloaders could be related to the fact that HBO had offered a free preview weekend for non subscribers, which allowed many to watch the season premier for free. This could also explain why torrenting records weren't broken this time around - the other main reasons could be related to the increasing use of streaming and direct downloads by pirates, in a bid to avoid detection and punishment.