Internet pirates downloading The Grand Tour has cost Amazon millions of dollars in lost revenue.
Hammond and May’s new show The Grand Tour has been a considerable success story for Amazon. While official viewing figures haven’t been released, the acclaimed first episode was the most watched since Amazon Video launched. Now, though, the motoring show has broken a new record that Amazon won’t be quite as happy about: it’s the most illegally downloaded show in history, according to The Daily Mail. Amazon reportedly paid $160 million to produce The Grand Tour, making it one of the most expensive TV shows ever.
However, since its launch in November, the first episode was illegally downloaded 7.9 million times according to figures released by industry analyst Muso. The second episode was downloaded 6.4 million times and the third episode was downloaded 4.6 million times. The UK, i.e. the presenter’s home country, was unsurprisingly the worst offender, accounting for 13.7 percent of the total figure. Muso estimated that the number of downloads for episode one may have cost Amazon around $4 million in lost revenue. And that’s just in the UK, so the worldwide loss must be astronomical.
It is the most illegally downloaded program ever. It is off the scale in terms of volume," Muso told the Mail. "It has overtaken every big show, including Game of Thrones, for the totals across different platforms." History is repeating itself here, because Top Gear was once touted as the most illegally downloaded show in the world. Currently, The Grand Tour is only available to stream in the UK, US and Japan before it launches in 200 countries this month, which may partially explain the excessive piracy. Then there’s the fact you have to pay an Amazon Prime subscription fee to access the show, which a large proportion of people probably aren’t prepared to do if they only want to watch The Grand Tour.