In another blow to the "piracy kills sales" talking point, it appears that people are buying a lot of Game of Thrones DVDs.
Why is this significant? Well, it's because the hit HBO series has gained a reputation as of late as the king of all pirated content on the web. And now the show has just landed at the top of another list - Amazon's best-seller list.
According to Amazon, Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season is the best-selling TV show of the year (so far). It beat out True Blood season 5, Dexter season 7, Breaking Bad season 5 and The Bible miniseries.
Recently, torrenting figures crowned Game of Thrones as the most-pirated show of the year (so far, of course). With an estimated 5.2 million downloads per episode during season 3, GoT tallied over 2 million more downloads per episode than the next most-pirated show, The Big Bang Theory. This isn't the first time that GoT has been given that title - it was also the most-downloaded how of 2012. Since then, GoT piracy has shot up 25%.
But even with that uptick in downloading, there are still enough fans buying the show via Amazon to place it atop the bestseller list for TV shows.
This should come as no surprise if you've been following the whole GoT piracy situation and HBO's response to it.
HBO programming head Michael Lombardo recently said that all the GoT downloading was sort of a compliment. Not only that, but he said that it didn't negatively impact DVD sales.
"I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but it is a compliment of sorts. The demand is there. And it certainly didn’t negatively impact the DVD sales. [Piracy is] something that comes along with having a wildly successful show on a subscription network,” he said.
Don't let Lombardo speak for HBO as whole, however. The network still has plenty of anti-torrenting moves up their sleeves.
And it's not like HBO is making it easy for people to view their content unless they want to pony up for a cable subscription. HBO is firmly planted in its current model, which ties subscriptions to cable subscriptions. As long as that’s the case, and there’s no standalone HBO GO service offered in top piracy areas like the U.S., U.K., and Australia, people are going to continue to download it - even though it's clear that people would pay for such a service.
And apparently, they will still buy the DVDs too. If a show is great, people are going to want to watch it - by any and all means available.