For years, Game of Thrones was the TV show that topped all the charts for illegal downloads. The epic saga based on George Martin’s books even made it into the Guinness World Records as the most pirated series on the planet. The very last season has been downloaded illegally twice as much as it has been purchased.
In May 2019, the series ended … and the Iron Throne sits empty ever since.
No organization actually knows the extent of online piracy. The rankings and figures that we are using here are extrapolations from the statistics we actually have. For instance, the site TorrentFreak makes a weekly ranking of the most downloaded movies on torrent networks. Even if torrents represent about 30% of all downloads—Direct Download and illegal streaming sites share the rest—these rankings allow us to define a trend.
Iron Man director Jon Favereau’s TV show has received excellent reviews. This original series from the Star Wars universe is available on Disney + and is the most downloaded series of 2020.
This time, it is an Amazon TV show, available for Prime Video subscribers, but it is also available on Google TV, Apple TV and several other platforms.
The third most downloaded series seems to be the HBO production Westworld. As HBO is not available in its original form outside the US, it is distributed by different platforms in different countries (usually local platforms like for instance OCS in France).
As we have already mentioned, several times, it is interesting to note that these three series come from competing platforms. Many people subscribe to one of these platforms and download the contents of the others. Some are even willing to pay for two platforms, but since they also usually watch a lot of TV shows, they download illegally what they can’t get on their legal offers.
The absence of the HBO offer as such outside the United States is also an incentive to download content from this particular platform—the excellent reputation of its productions is well known, and the American company has a special place in the heart of series lovers. Any TV show fan wants to see the new HBO series as soon as it comes out—no matter what the show is!
If we look at the weekly ranking of the most pirated movies published by TorrentFreak, we find mostly mainstream, superhero, fantasy or action movies.
Mortal Kombat was at the top of the charts for four weeks in a row. For the next five weeks, it remained in the top 10, slowly rising from the 3rd place to the 9th.
The epic clash of the giant beasts stayed top 1 for three weeks in the ranking made by Torrentfreak. It then stayed in the top 10 for 9 weeks.
Released in December 2020 this superhero movie took the first place for the first two weeks of January, then stayed in the top 10 for 13 weeks.
This DC Universe film is the version of Justice League that the director wanted to shoot before he left production during the making of the first film, released in 2017. Jack Synder’s version was in the top spot of Torrentfreak’s chart for two weeks, and in the top 10 for another 9 weeks.
This franchise of the famous video game took the top spot for two weeks before dropping back into the top 10 for five weeks in a row .
Several trends can be identified from these statistics
The movies that are the most at risk when it comes to piracy seem to be movies based on themes already known by the public: Monster Hunter and Mortal Kombat are originally very popular video games, the characters of Godzilla and King Kong appeared in movies in the ’50s and ’60s, and Wonder Woman and the superheroes of the Justice League in addition to being comic book heroes have already appeared in several movies and TV shows.
The trend for illegal downloads and streaming seems to be that a movie is particularly at risk 2–4 weeks after its release (or if it wins an award , as we saw in our article about Oscars) and then continues to be in high demand for another 2–4 months.
If you have an upcoming movie that needs protection (and believe us, it does) don't hesitate to contact our team for more information.