The finale of Lost has shattered all previous download records on BitTorrent. In less than a day, close to a million people have downloaded the last two episodes, with more than 100,000 people sharing a single torrent at the same time. As expected, most downloads come from outside the US where the finale aired later or has yet to air on television.
Last year, Lost achieved the questionable honor of being the second most-pirated TV-show on BitTorrent. With more than 6 million downloads for a single episode, Lost was only trailing Heroes by a few thousand downloads.
There is no doubt that the final season of the show will again be a strong contender in 2010’s list. On average, an episode of Lost is downloaded nearly 1.5 million times in the first week after its appearance on BitTorrent, but there is an overwhelming demand for the series finale which aired on Sunday.
In the first 20 hours after they appeared on BitTorrent, the final two episodes were downloaded a little over 900,000 times, an amount expected to increase to four or five million by the and of the week. As far as we know, this is a new download record for BitTorrent in such a short time frame.
One of the main reasons why people turn to BitTorrent for missed TV-shows is because they air significantly later in their home country. In an attempt to take this incentive away Lost’s finale was aired in 59 countries simultaneously, or within 48 hours of the US broadcast.
Whether the narrower release window has indeed decreased piracy is hard to say. What we do see is that there is a huge demand for the Lost finale in Australia, as 15% of all downloaders come from down under. Coincidentally, the season finale is scheduled to air in Australia this Wednesday.
Another factor that contributed to the high number of downloads globally is all the fuss about the season ending. Undoubtedly, people who missed it will be more inclined to download the final episodes compared to those mid-season.
It will be interesting to see if Lost’s new download record can be broken in the future.