ABC Policy Spurs 300% Increase in BitTorrent Downloads
ABC Policy Spurs 300% Increase in BitTorrent Downloads
Jan 16, 2014. Posted by Andre Swanston
On January 6th ABC put in force a policy that prevents the day after air streaming of its shows without being logged into a paid TV or Hulu Plus subscription. In December when the Tru Optik team referred me to an Engadget article that talked about this ensuing change, I was pretty sure it would have an impact on viewers torrenting the show.  However, I must admit I was shocked as the IP verified results started to come in.  

Every single ABC show had an increase of at least 50% or more in BitTorrent downloads from their last original episode.  Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s winter premiere saw an over 300% increase in worldwide downloads last week and an almost 600% spike in day after downloads in the United States. I myself love Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and always DVR both it and NCIS to catch up on over the weekend (they both air at 8pm EST on Tuesday night). My original thought was maybe Iron Man or Thor or all of the Avengers made a guest appearance to rescue Agent Coulson.  I assumed there was no other way download demand for the show could spike so much so quickly. So I took to twitter to monitor the chatter and we waited for the Nielsen results to come in. It didn't appear to be anything worthy of such a spike and both the Nielsen TV and tweet counts later supported that finding.  

We then got to work on deeper analysis of the BitTorrent traffic for Episode 11 and decided to whip up an infographic to show our findings. Spoiler alert the BitTorrent downloads of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. can be directly attributed to cord cutters refusing to wait a week to stream the show for free.
About Tru Optik
Tru Optik provides real-time and predictive Audience Intelligence for the media, entertainment and advertising industries. Through our multi-channel assessment of global digital media demand and consumption, we enable our clients to more effectively identify, reach and cater to their target audiences and consumers.