It’s only 4 episodes in, but already Amazon’s The Grand Tour has become the most illegally downloaded TV show ever.
Thanks to the previous success of Top Gear and the popularity of its former hosts, the show had a strong fan following before it even aired and its first episode garnered millions of views. Unfortunately, not all of those fans are willing to pay the annual price of an Amazon Prime membership and as a result the first three episodes of the show have been pirated at an incredible rate.
According to numbers collected by industry analyst Muso and shared by the Mail on Sunday, the first episode was illegally downloaded 9.7 million times, the second 6.4 million times, and the third 4.6 million times. Apparently 13.7 percent of the illegal downloads originated in the UK, which is where Amazon had hoped to boost its subscriber base by securing the show.
Chris Elkins, Muso chief commercial officer, told The Guardian “It is the most illegally downloaded program ever”, adding that “It has overtaken every big show, including Game Of Thrones, for the totals across different platforms.”
Muso estimates that Amazon has lost up to £3.2 million in revenue in Britain alone on episode one because of illegal downloads which is a hard hit to take.
That said, the number of illegal downloads are dropping substantially as the episodes go on, suggesting that either Amazon's piracy issues are already melting away, or else people are tiring of the new show.
Amazon has committed to three series of the show, so it will be interesting to see how subscription and download numbers will be affected in the long run.
Regardless, with Amazon reporting "millions" of legitimate views, The Grand Tour is performing much better than the BBC's Top Gear 2.0 which has lost large numbers of viewers and a presenter since it aired.
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Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.