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Season Four!!!

HBO has officially renewed GAME OF THRONES for a fourth season. (And I'm almost finished with the first draft of my script. No, sorry, not going to tell you which one it is).


Record ratings for our season three premiere, "Valar Dohaeris."


Also (sigh) record levels of piracy.


On other topics... no, no, Peter Dinklage is NOT being replaced by Warwick Davis in the role of Tyrion. That was just HBO's little April Fools joke. (I was so busy I forgot to make my own April Fools joke). So calm down, boys and girls. Peter is still with us.


Henning Bauer Westbye
Apr. 3rd, 2013 09:23 pm (UTC)
People are going to pirate your show no matter what you do. A record set in piracy simply means that it's the most popular show. If the show didn't make such a record it would not mean that people aren't pirating, but that the show isn't that popular. No matter how you look at it, it's a good thing for Game of Thrones.

I pirate the series myself, but I still buy the Blu-rays when they come out. I even re-watch the series when it airs on TV here in Norway. If I hadn't started watching the show I would never have bought the books, and now I have read all of them. I've also bought the collector's edition of Inside HBO's Game of Thrones. Your books have inspired me to read, and now I try to read a new book every couple of weeks. I've always been one of those who hated reading. I don't only read your books, I read many others as well. I spend a lot of money on books now, and several has been published by Harper Voyager. Only when I started buying books did I start pirating them too. These connections don't show up on your financial loss estimates. You count a pirated copy as a lost sale. In my experience a few pirated copies usually means an extra sale, as it means someone are dedicated. Where people once bought (e.g.) 4 movies and pirated none, they might now buy 10 and pirate 20. That's not 20 lost sales; it's 6 gained.

I spend basically all my spare money on movies, books, music and video games. However, I download a lot of pirated copies and I quite often share as well. I will never stop pirating. I don't pirate because I want to avoid paying; I pirate because I love the material.

I personally need a lot of variation, so I pirate on auto-pilot whenever I see something interesting. That is +1 in pirate stats, but I don't always read/watch/play it; most times it just stays on my hard drive for a few months until it's deleted. I'm not one that re-reads a book; I don't replay that many games; I rarely play online; I don't like to listen to the same album over and over; I usually just watch a TV series or a movie once (there are some exceptions, like GoT). Most products goes away quite fast, and I can't pay for it all. I pirate all, and I buy some of it. I try to spread the money among products I can enjoy, but I focus especially on what I really love (like the GoT and ASoIaF series).

From my perspective I'm one of the companies' best customers when it comes to relative amount spent compared to income. Yet most people in the market where I spend my money call be a bastard and a thief, and their companies would like to prosecute me for several hundred thousand dollars and ruin my life forever.

Edited at 2013-04-03 11:08 pm (UTC)
Apr. 11th, 2013 06:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Piracy
It's great that you buy the Blu-Rays, but what you have to understand is that HBO's subscription-based revenue model is what makes projects such as "Game of Thrones" possible without the creators having to compromise on many things or water down the content.

Other networks rely on sponsors & ratings for revenue.

The sponsors come with decency requirements since they want to sell their products to mid-west Christian soccer moms as much as they do you and I. If a show has content that is too graphic & vulgar, sponsors are afraid that potential customers will turn away from their products because they are supporting something they are offended by.

Dependence on ratings (in order to keep sponsors interested in buying commercial time) comes with required input from marketing people (who are much more interested in the results of focus groups and demographics than they are in quality, creative content).

HBO is by no means perfect or devoid of these detracting factors, but they are far, far less prevalent due to the guaranteed revenue from subscriptions. This also is what makes it possible for HBO to take chances on concepts that go against the grain & may or may not catch on, but show potential (see "Six Feet Under", "Big Love", and certainly "Game of Thrones").

You might not like everything on HBO, but look at paying for a subscription as a right to entertainment that is uncompromisingly artistic and original.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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