New episodes of the cult sitcom Arrested Development were pirated over 100,000 times within 24 hours of being released on Netflix.
While this number pales in comparison to others — the recent Game of Thrones premiere was downloaded a million times in a single day — it’s still a bit higher than your average TV show.
The Hollywood Reporter points out that the new season of Arrested Development even comes with a sight gag about piracy. Whenever the latest episodes flash back to previous events, the clip is shown with a “Showstealer Pro Trial” watermark. Apparently Netflix is well aware of the show’s pirated past.
As with a lot of television series, it’s believed that people are pirating the new season of Arrested Development simply because it’s not available in their region.
The folks at paidContent explain that shows such as Mad Men and Teen Wolf are being downloaded because they aren’t available through legal websites after they air. Since the acclaimed sitcom is only available through Netflix streaming, this means many people are pirating the episodes simply because they don’t have access to the service.
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told Stuff.tv last month that Netflix was actually helping to curb illegal downloading. During his interview with the website, he said that piracy actually decreases as traffic to the streaming service increases.
“One of the things is we get ISPs to publicize their connection speeds — and when we launch in a territory the Bittorrent traffic drops as the Netflix traffic grows. So I think people do want a great experience and they want access — people are mostly honest. The best way to combat piracy isn’t legislatively or criminally but by giving good options.”
Of course, only traffic through torrent sites is being currently being tracked. A lot of people still downloaded content through digital storage lockers such as 180upload. However, it will be interesting to see if Sarandos’ theory holds true as the service rolls into new markets.
What do you think about Arrested Development getting pirated over 100,000 times in 24 hours? Do you agree that a lot of piracy takes place due to a lack of availability?