The Hobbit and Game of Thrones are Most Pirated of 2013
December 31, 2013 // 1:13 p.m.
According to figures collated by bit-torrent news website TorrentFreak, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Game of Thrones are respectively the most downloaded film and TV show of 2013.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was downloaded some 8.5 million times in the last 12 months, while the second spot was taken by Quentin Tarantino's latest film, Django Unchained, with 8.1million downloads. Taking third place was Fast and Furious 6, with 7.9million downloads.
These figures describe the number of times each film was downloaded using public torrent tracking sites, which excludes and online streaming or cyberlocker downloads, which could potentially add significantly to the totals. The numbers are also collated from January 1st to mid-December with no weighting applied so the list is biased to films released earlier in the year.
It is - as ever - unclear if all the downloads affected takings at the box office but with US takings this year being the highest ever it would suggest not. It probably is the case, though, that Blu-ray and DVD sales have been impacted.
Suggesting that film and TV show pirates have a particular penchant for the fantasy genre, TorrentFreak also reports that the most downloaded TV show was HBO's Game Of Thrones, a crown it also won last year.
The finale to the latest series of the show was downloaded 5.9million times, which is actually a greater number than watched the show live on TV, with just 5.5million tuning in.
Some have blamed the high piracy of Game Of Thrones on HBO because it refuses to open up access to the show via means other than a subscription to the channel in the US. As such, users of the likes of Netflix have resorted to other means to get hold of the show.
HBO has brushed aside the issue of piracy of its shows, though, with Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner which owns HBO, saying piracy resulted in higher subscription rates and that receiving the title of "most-pirated" was "better than an Emmy."
In second place for the list of TV shows was the finale of Breaking Bad, with The Walking Dead coming in third.