The Grand Tour may just be the most pirated TV show of all time. And it’s all because it’s only available on Amazon Prime, and Amazon Prime is expensive. That combination means The Grand Tour was always going to be a hit on torrent sites, but the numbers are still rather shocking.
Amazon is spending a small fortune on The Grand Tour. While Amazon hasn’t revealed the official budget, each episode is thought to be costing many millions of dollars to make. The justification for this outlay of cash is the hope it will drive people to pay for Amazon Prime.
Unfortunately for Amazon, this doesn’t appear to be happening. Instead, the cost of Amazon Prime is driving people to illegally download The Grand Tour instead. This is according to anti-piracy outfit Muso, which told The Daily Mail that The Grand Tour is “the most illegally downloaded programme ever,” adding that it is “off the scale in terms of volume”.
The Most Pirated Show of All Time?
Muso suggests the first episode of The Grand Tour was pirated 7.9 million times. The second being pirated 6.4 million times, and the third 4.6 million times. British viewers were the biggest culprits, making up 13.7 percent of the people downloading the show illegally.
The company doesn’t reveal how it came up with these numbers, merely indicating they measure downloads “across different platforms”. We have no reason to doubt Muso’s numbers, but even if they are true it probably doesn’t make The Grand Tour the most pirated show of all time.
Game of Thrones, an HBO show also not available for everybody to watch legally, probably retains that crown. After all, it has topped TorrentFreak’s list of the most-pirated TV shows for four years in a row, with 14.4 million people nabbing the 2015 finale off BitTorrent alone.
Amazon Is Playing the Long Game
I think it’s fair to say Amazon won’t be particularly happy about its new show being pirated by millions of people. Exclusivity was meant to drive people to purchase Amazon Prime. So anyone choosing to illegally download The Grand Tour instead represents a missed opportunity. However, all is not lost.
Firstly, the fact that millions of people are pirating The Grand Tour is confirmation Jeremy Clarkson and co. are insanely popular. Second, if people get hooked on the new show they could then subscribe to Amazon Prime down the line. And third, The Grand Tour is drawing attention to Amazon Prime like nothing has before, and word-of-mouth advertising is a powerful tool.
I suspect Amazon is playing the long game here. The Grand Tour is expected to be around for several years and spawn multiple seasons. So this first season is all about getting the word out. Torrents are a legitimately good way of getting people hooked on a show, but the tricky thing is getting them to value that show enough to then fund it in the future.
Are you watching The Grand Tour? If so, are you watching it through Amazon Prime? Or are you watching it illegally? If the former, did you get Amazon Prime for The Grand Tour? If the latter, how are you justifying your piracy? Please let us know in the comments below!