New data from Tru Optik, a digital media research firm, shows that Netflix’s original series Orange is the New Black has climbed to the third spot on the list of the most popular TV shows to pirate on file-sharing networks for Q2 2014. In fact, episodes of the show were downloaded from peer-to-peer (P2P) networks a total of 60.8 million times during the three-month period.
The report – Digital Media Unmonetized Demand and Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Report: First and Second Quarter 2014 – thoroughly picks apart the various forms of media obtained through P2P networks to determine which TV shows, movies, video games, and software are the most popular with online pirates. During Q2 this year, digital delinquents downloaded more than 2.5 billion movies from P2P sites, across 126.4 million unique IPs. Downloaders nabbed more than 2 billion TV show episodes during the same period, as well.
And while mainstays like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones predictably took the top two spots respectively for most downloaded shows, Netflix’s OITNB managed to slip into third place behind the two super-shows. The stats for the popular show about jailbird debutante Piper Chapman (based on Piper Kerman’s autobiographical novel of the same name) are especially telling since there are few ways to gauge the overall popularity of the show. Surprisingly there was no sign of Netflix’s other tent pole, House of Cards, at the top of the list.
While it would be easy to imagine that services like Netflix and HBO try to avoid giving away their valuable content for free, Tru Optik points out that the companies actually use piracy stats to gauge consumer interest. OITNB‘s success in the piracy realm is more proof that online streaming services such as Netflix are ready to compete with major powerhouses when it comes to creating valuable original content.