As Forbes' Andy Greenberg is reporting, HBO's Game of Thrones is a huge hit in the file-sharing community, and is on track to be the most downloaded show of 2012.
Accorrding to BitTorrent-tracking and analysis firm Big Champagne, the second season of the shaow has been downloaded more than 25 million times last month. Downloading peaked after April 30th's episode, with 2.5 million downloads in a day.
By TorrentFreaks estimation, the show was second to Dexter last year in terms of total downloads. Game of Thrones was downloaded 3.4 million times last year, almost 40,000 more viewers than the actual broadcast on HBO. But if you look at the statistics of shows airing on network television, you notice they have a lot more viewers than they have downloads. It seems people who cannot afford to pay for premium cable shows are much more apt to just download them for free anyway.
My solution would be to offer these shows as part of a side package, so customers can see the shows they want without having to pay for cable and the premium service, which can cost $60 or more per month. A subscription to just Game of Thrones could cost a lot less and lure a lot of non-subscribers away from piracy.
This comic from the Oatmeal summarizes the dilemma well.
[Source: Forbes Via: Big Champagne}