As we head into the new year, there’s a mouthwatering amount of excellent TV on the horizon.
But, sadly, there’s the ever-present problem of piracy from those unwilling to pay to watch TV shows and movies legally.
According to the team at TorrentFreak, the most-pirated show of 2022 is an obvious entry: House of the Dragon.
The prequel to Game of Thrones took the world by storm last year and beat out fellow fantasy series Rings of Power to the dubious top spot.
TorrentFreak points out HBO’s show displaced exclusive Disney+ content that’s been topping the list for the last two years. Firstly with Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian in 2020 and then MCU show Wandavision in 2021.
However, Game of Thrones was a popular fixture of the most-pirated lists for years during its main run.
The site’s list only takes into account piracy through the peer-to-peer protocol BitTorrent. Internet piracy has ballooned in recent years to include fully-fledged websites that index and redirect viewers to pirated content as well as social media that plays host to illegal files.
Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show took second place in the list and the company’s other big hit, The Boys, was at number 3.
Three different Star Wars TV shows were on the list as pirates ilegally downloaded episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Book of Boba Fett and Andor.
The top 10 most-pirated TV shows of 2022
These are the most pirated shows of 2022 and their respective legal platforms, according to TorrentFreak.
- House of the Dragon – HBO
- The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power – Amazon Prime
- The Boys – Amazon Prime
- Moon Knight – Disney+
- Halo – Paramount+
- Obi-Wan Kenobi – Disney+
- The Book of Boba Fett – Disney+
- Stranger Things – Netflix
- She-Hulk: Attorney at Law – Disney+
- Andor – Disney+
While the ease of subscription services blossoming over the last decade, it was hoped piracy would reduce. However, the fragmented landscape and increase of exclusive shows has pushed those unwilling to subscriber to multiple platforms into the darker territory of piracy.
While Netflix may have been the OG streaming service, there’s now Prime Video, Disney+, Paramount+, Now, Apple TV+ and BritBox. Each has its own exclusive shows and movies that people want to watch.
‘Exclusive content and a proliferation of platforms have long resulted in a customer acquisition war for providers,’ explains MUSO, which measures piracy across the web.
‘But this overwhelming choice – before one even gets to the myriad costs involved – can be bewildering for the consumer. And in the absence of a one-stop shop like Spotify is to music lovers, and now that piracy sites have evolved to become sophisticated, easy-to-use experiences, people who have never resorted to piracy before are finding it more appealing than ever.
Data from MUSO shows piracy across all media sectors was up 25% in the first 6 months of 2022 compared with the same period in 2021.
‘As economic historians have often observed, people turn to entertainment in a recession, which ensures that piracy is only set to increase,’ the site claims.