Torrents are coming: Game of Thrones finale reaches new records of online piracy

17 Jun 2014

The eagerly awaited finale of season four of the HBO show Game of Thrones broke new records in terms of online piracy, breaking the 2 petabytes mark in the space of 12 hours.

The episode entitled The Children is the show’s most watched episode to date through official means, with a viewership of 7.1m people on TV. However, according to TorrentFreak, the online community comprises by far the biggest number of viewers of the episode as they clocked up the largest ‘swarm’ on the torrenting program BitTorrent.

The term ‘swarm’ is used to describe a mass sharing of a single file through torrenting. Torrent-tracking site Demonii reported 254,114 people were sharing this one torrent at the same time while 190,701 shared a complete copy of that particular torrent while 63,413 were still downloading.

Given its popularity, the previous piracy record for a TV show online was also a Game of Thrones episode, which recorded just over 200,000 people sharing the same file for an earlier episode last May.

All these downloads equate to the unprecedented 2 petabytes of data and is still expected to increase further as the weeks go on, estimated to be in the range of a further 7.5m downloads.

Game of Thrones iPad image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic