Piracy is often a great way to see what folks are the most interested in across the wide swath of modern media. Well, move over Game of Thrones. There is a new number one. Granted, being number one for this is probably not what Disney was hoping for. Smash hit The Mandalorian has taken over the 2020 top spot as the most pirated show of the year, knocking out the Game of Thrones after it had held that top spot for seven years running.
The news, mined from the analysis by piracy info site TorrentFreak, doesn’t come as a surprise. Back in 2019, Game of Thrones’ last season on HBO, it was a known fact that it would be the last time Game of Thrones would take the top spot as there were no more episodes to pirate. There was going to be a few top contenders, with The Mandalorian expected to lead the way as it finished third in pirated downloads in 2019.
As expected, The Mandalorian came out on top. Amazon Prime’s The Boys settled for second, while HBO’s Westworld came in third. Of course, this is not news that will make producers happy, but it does show the growing issues that are starting to come to the forefront in the entertainment industry. To see these top three shows, one must have three separate subscriptions, one for Disney+, one for Amazon Prime, and one for HBO. This is not an affordable situation for many, so they lean on the illegal way of piracy to watch their favorite shows. With more and more streaming services coming into play and being separate from one another, the monthly cost can jump quickly.
While this analysis about piracy is sure to continue to raise hackles across the entertainment industry, it does go to show just how popular the top three shows are. That bodes well for Disney as they have seen their subscription numbers hit the 80 million mark in just 13 months. As for a comparison, Netflix has over 190 million subscribers in their 13 years of streaming.
It goes to note that the TorrentFreak top pirated shows survey only covers BitTorrent traffic, which is a small fraction of online piracy but does include illegal streaming services. Piracy has been an ongoing and presumably never-ending issue within the entertainment industry and now with many channels turning to their own streaming service and charging premium prices, the thought that piracy will be curbed in the near future is one that may have to be on the backburner. Especially given the fact that COVID has forced the closure of movie theaters for most of our country, so more and more people are turning to streaming services and the most inexpensive way to get them. Hollywood, rightfully so, will continue this uphill battle against online piracy, but the more viewers are locked in their homes, the more piracy will grow.
TorrentFreak not only named the top three pirated programs of 2020, but it also finished off the top ten. The entire list looks like this: 1) Disney+ The Mandalorian, 2) Amazon Prime The Boys, 3) HBO’s Westworld, 4) Amazon Prime’s The Vikings, 5) CBS All-Access Star Trek: Picard, 6) Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty, 7) AMC’s The Walking Dead, 8) HBO’s The Outsider, 9) CW’s The Arrow, and finally 10) CW’s The Flash.