With every streaming service desperately pushing its own exclusives and originals in order to try and differentiate themselves from every streaming service, it can be frustrating to be hit over the head with some ostensibly great TV show you can’t watch without paying an extra $10 or so every month. The internet being what it is, though, frustrated streamers have found an obvious workaround: piracy. As noted in Sandvine’s “Global Internet Phenomena” report (via Vice’s Motherboard), BitTorrent downloads have been increasing after years of “steady decline,” which is coinciding with an increase in piracy—since torrenting is still the go-to choice for people who want to download big things illegally, even if it can be used just as easily to download legitimate things.
According to Sandvine’s research, a lot of users are choosing to subscribe to “one or two” streaming services and then they’ll “pirate the rest.” Game Of Thrones is still a big hit among pirates, partly because it often premieres in different parts of the world first, so as soon as it’s available in one place, people in other places will steal it as soon as they possibly can. In a similar vein, the study has shown that BitTorrent downloads account for 32 percent of all upstream internet traffic in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, partly because a lot of U.S.-based streaming content is simply harder to access there.
Basically, streaming content is so good these days, that people are compelled to steal it. That’s gotta be a good thing to these companies, right?