Visualising the Game of Thrones torrenting phenomenon

MUSO, the authority on digital piracy, collected and published data on the piracy of Game of Thrones Season 8. We achieved this by mapping together multiple data sources to “triangulate the truth” of piracy activity on the year’s most hotly anticipated TV series.

Explore the visualisation

One data source MUSO uses to understand piracy behaviour is the torrent network, used for unlicensed file sharing.

MUSO’s torrent discovery system identified Game of Thrones torrents in the first 2-3 minutes of their upload. We then periodically record the number of downloads of each torrent, tracking activity over time.

We also sample anonymised IPs for users in the file-sharing ecosystem. From these anonymised IP addresses we can infer a location for the downloader (and filter out VPNs and data centres).

For this season, we observed 65,828,154 downloads across a collection of 4,018 torrents.

We sampled 24,859,660 unique IPs, out of which 12,029,599 are now mapped globally on this visualisation. This visualisation gives a sense of the scale of the phenomenon, with Game of Thrones content being torrented approximately 5x more than the next most popular item in the week of a new episode.

From our new visualisation, we see that the most prolific region for torrenting was India, which had a 6.43% share of the IPs collected. Explore the globe to find more stories in the data.

For more information, contact us and learn more about what our data can do for you.

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