The fifth season of Game of Thrones has been the most-viewed so far, both through official channels and among pirates.
With this in mind the season finale was expected to be a record breaker, and it didn’t disappoint.
With the Internet abuzz over the latest plot twist and turns, many people turned to torrent sites to grab a pirated copy of the show, which appeared online shortly after the broadcast ended.
Data gathered by TorrentFreak shows that during the first eight hours, the season finale has been downloaded an estimated 1.5 million times already.
Never before have we seen this many downloads in such a short period of time, and last year it took half a day to reach the same number. Based on this figure, the download count is expected to increase to more than 10 million during the days to come.
The lower quality 480p copies of the show remain by far the most popular among downloaders, followed by 720p and 1080p copies respectively.
A brief inspection of the download locations shows that Game of Thrones pirates come from all over the world, as we’ve seen previously. The show is particularly popular in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and India.
While HBO began warning individual downloaders earlier this year, the piracy demand appears to keep growing. In addition to the 1.5 million downloads the latest episode is also on track to beat the piracy swarm record.
At the time of writing the Demonii tracker reports that 224,367 people are sharing a single torrent at the same time. 150,003 are sharing a complete copy of that particular torrent while 74,364 are still downloading.
The current record stands at a quarter million active sharers, but this is usually reached later in the day. We will update this article in a few hours with an updated count.
Update: At 7:45 PM CET the swarm record was broken. At that time there were 258,131 people sharing a single torrent of the season finale. 181,075 are sharing a complete copy of that particular torrent while 77,056 are still downloading. More updates may follow.
Over the past three years Game of Thrones has been the most pirated TV-show. Based on the number of downloads this season, the same result will be achieved in 2015.