The Disney+ series The Mandalorian has taken up the mantle as the most pirated TV show of 2020, according to TorrentFreak. That spot had long been occupied by the HBO series Game of Thrones, which concluded with its eighth and final season just last year. Meanwhile, The Mandalorian was the third-most torrented show in 2019.
Prime Video's The Boys and HBO's Westworld finished in second and third respectively. Neither appeared in the top 10 in 2019.
TorrentFreak made these determinations "based on several sources, including statistics reported by public BitTorrent trackers." Its findings are focused on BitTorrent traffic, which only accounts for a small percentage of online piracy. The site notes how this year's top three programs prove "how fragmented the online entertainment industry has become" because a viewer would need three different subscription services to watch these shows. Going further down the list, Prime Video’s Vikings occupies the fourth spot, but five through seven are all from different networks.
Despite having the most pirated show in 2020, Disney+ continues to gain subscriptions at a remarkable rate in just over a year. In December, the company announced that it had over 73.7 million subscribers, and forecasts between 300 and 350 million subscribers by 2024. Netflix reported 195.15 million in the third quarter and HBO Max pushed its total to 12.6 million.
As streaming services acquire shows and upcoming films to gain an edge over their competition, HBO Max put all their chips on the table with the announcement that all Warner Bros. movies headed to theaters in 2021 can be streamed the same day. The announcement has been slammed by film directors like Denis Villeneuve (Dune) and Christopher Nolan (Tenet), but in a business where they are trying to acquire as many eyeballs as possible, WarnerMedia felt like it did what needed to be done.