Trending Torrents

Trending Torrents: The Most Pirated Content Of 2023

Published on: December 13, 2023
Last Updated: December 13, 2023

Trending Torrents: The Most Pirated Content Of 2023

Published on: December 13, 2023
Last Updated: December 13, 2023

Torrenting content online has been around for as long as the internet has.

People are always looking for ways to watch their favourite films and TV shows for free without having to sign up for multiple subscription platforms.

There are now hundreds of well-known torrenting websites, including The Pirate Bay, LimeTorrents and uTorrent.

However, it’s not all roses.

In 2019, the US Chamber of Commerce revealed that TV and film piracy costs the industry between $29 billion and $71 billion every year.

The cost of fighting piracy only increases the price of products for consumers as industries sink millions into preventing torrenting. 

Pirated content can show us what pop culture has been the most popular over a year and what lengths people will go to to watch, stream and listen to their favourite films, TV shows and artists.

While we know how popular content is from their sales figures, what lengths do people go to to watch this content for free online?

At EarthWeb, our data experts wanted to find out what the most pirated content online is for 2023.

To do this, we found the top movies, games, TV shows, software, audiobooks and albums of 2023 and analysed how many torrent web pages there are on the internet.

Key Findings

  • The Barbie movie is the most pirated piece of content in 2023, with 4,190,000 pages of torrent content.
  • The anime adaptation One Piece is the most torrented TV show online with 444,000 pages of pirated content.
  • Canadian rapper Drake is the most pirated music artist in 2023, with 303,000 pages, and Doja Cat’s album Scarlet is the most pirated album with 13,300 pages.
  • The Spider-Man 2 game is the most pirated video game of this year, with 136,000 pages of illegal content.
  • Microsoft Office is the most pirated software in the world for 2023 with 291,000 pages of torrent content on the internet.
  • The most torrented audiobook is Spare, the memoir by Prince Harry with 193,000 pages of illegal content.

The Most Pirated Movies of 2023

Piracy of films seems to be increasing more than any other kind of content with a 36% leap in the illicit consumption of film content between 2021 and 2022 according to the research firm Muso.

With so many high-profile blockbuster releases in 2023, these figures are predicted to keep up momentum.

In 2023, the most pirated film and most pirated piece of content overall was the “Barbie” movie with over 4 million pages of torrents on the internet.

The movie based around female empowerment was hotly anticipated and smashed box office records, making over 1.4 billion dollars worldwide.

It’s no surprise that many internet sleuths are looking for a way to watch it free online.

The movie adaptation of the famous horror game “Five Nights at Freddy’s” came in second place with 131,000 pages of pirated content.

The movie divided critics and audiences with one of the largest Rotten Tomatoes rating gaps on the platform.

The fanbase of the movie is largely teenagers who are already online natives due to their interest in the game which could account for its high piracy figures.

image 5
RankingMovieNumber of Google Pages
1Barbie4,190,000
2Five Nights at Freddy’s131,000
3Priscilla73,600
4The Creator71,900
5The Killer56,600
6Reptile50,000
7Tiger 337,400
8Jawan36,400
9Sound of Freedom32,500
10Wonka27,600

The Most Pirated TV Shows of 2023

According to a 2022 study by the piracy-focused research firm Muso, illegal streaming of TV shows accounted for 46.3% of all global privacy traffic.

With the existence of so many streaming platforms that own exclusive rights to specific content, it’s easy to see how consumers might struggle to have subscriptions for all of them.

The highly anticipated Netflix adaptation of the hugely popular anime, “One Piece” ranks as the most pirated TV show of 2023.

The show has 444,000 pages of pirated content on the internet, leaving the other TV launches of this year in the dust.

It clocked in 18.5 million streams in its first week and a 95% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

As an adaptation, the show was already proven to have a large and loyal following which accounted for its success.

“The Last of Us” TV show which many gaming fans were eagerly waiting for comes in second place with 86,000 pages of illegally torrented content.

The unconventional zombie horror show won viewers’ hearts with its deeply emotional third episode which saw two side characters, Bill and Frank, who met during the apocalypse, fall in love as they try and protect each other.

No spoilers here!

image 6
RankingTV ShowNumber of Google Pages
1One Piece444,000
2The Last of Us86,000
3Payback85,700
4Archie72,000
5Pluto67,200
6Silo49,900
7The Curse36,500
8Goosebumps34,100
9Ahsoka23,200
10Poker Face20,800

The Most Pirated Albums of 2023

Pirating music feels like it’s been around since the dark ages from burning music onto a CD to companies like Napster allowing users to exchange copyrighted music.

According to a study by IFPI, more than one-third of music listeners still pirate music and found that the most common reason that people download music from illegal sites is because of the price and because it’s more convenient to download music that way than through official channels.

Doja Cat’s new album “Scarlet” is the most pirated album of 2023 with 13,300 pages of illegal content.

The album became a huge success peaking at number 4 on the US Billboard 200 and the lead single “Paint the Town Red” marked Doja Cat’s first solo number-one on the US Billboard Hot 100, the UK Singles Chart, the Billboard Global 200, and several other national charts worldwide.

Travis Scott’s album “UTOPIA” comes in second place with 9,840 pieces of content.

2023 has been a slow year for rap albums on the Billboard charts but Travis Scott’s new album debuted at number one, in which it earned 496,000 album-equivalent units.

Not only this but all 19 songs from the album debuted in the Billboard Hot 100.

TikTok’s favourite Ice Spice has her “Like…?” album, which was launched in January 2023, see 8,550 pages of pirated content produced on the internet.

It’s clear fans are eager to listen to her music, even if it means through illegal means.

image 7
RankingAlbumNumber of Google Pages
1Doja Cat – Scarlet13,300
2Travis Scott – UTOPIA9,840
3Ice Spice – Like..?8,550
4Drake – For All The Dogs7,440
5Nas – Magic 23,880
6Melanie Martinez – PORTALS2,670
7Olivia Rodrigo – GUTS2,470
8Taylor Swift – 1989 (Taylor’s Version)2,460
9Paramore – This Is Why1,970
10Kelela – Raven1,330

The Most Pirated Music Artists of 2023

Music artists have long had a rough relationship with their music being pirated such as albums being leaked before they’ve officially launched.

However, it’s said that streaming platforms like Spotify and Tidal have changed the game, stopping a generation of music lovers from feeling the need to pirate music.

But it doesn’t mean piracy is uncommon.

Topping the chart in a way that no music artist would like, Drake comes in the top spot as the most pirated music artist with over 300,000 web pages of pirated content on the internet.

Although the singer is loved by many, his popularity opens him up to widespread piracy.

In 2011, his album “Take Care” was leaked a week before its release which prompted him to tell Billboard “I look forward to leaks — knock on wood.

I shouldn’t probably, but I do.

Like I said, if it’s a reasonable leak, I look forward to it.”

The K-pop band BTS comes in second place with 297,000 pages on the internet with pirated material.

Music fans don’t always have the money to support their favourite artists, so this might account for some of the reasons why BTS’s music has been so widely torrented. 

image 8
RankingMusic ArtistNumber of Google Pages
1Drake303,000
2BTS297,000
3Madonna278,000
4Michael Jackson228,000
5Eminem214,000
6Adele210,000
7Shakira201,000
8Beyoncé195,000
9Taylor Swift189,000
10Rihanna186,000

Interestingly, Taylor Swift ranked in 9th place with just 189,000 pages of pirated content, even though she’s the most streamed artist of 2023 on Spotify.

Although you might think that she should be the most pirated artist with such a huge fan base and boasting the highest-earning tour ever, it could be her fans who have prevented this from happening.

Her die-hard fan base has been known to respect Swift’s music and in the past has reported pirated content such as the Reputation album release in 2017, as reported by Billboard

The Most Pirated Video Games of 2023

Games are by far one of the most pirated pieces of content on the internet.

While a film might set you back a Netflix subscription or an album might cost $15, games can set you back upwards of $60 making them a much higher value product.

In 2023, the most pirated game is “Spider-Man 2” which quickly became the fastest-selling video game made by PlayStation ever, selling 2.5 million physical and digital copies in its first 25 hours.

The game has 136,000 pages of pirated content on the internet, showing people are eager to get their hands on the hottest game of the year without having to pay for it.

The survival horror game “Resident Evil 4” came in a close second place with 112,000 pages of illegal torrents.

Originally released for the GameCube in 2005, the publishers remade the popular game for more modern consoles, now available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, and Xbox Series X/S.

image 11
RankingGameNumber of Google Pages
1Spider-Man 2136,000
2Resident Evil 4112,000
3Dead Space66,100
4Hogwarts Legacy43,400
5Starfield32,400
6Super Mario RPG14,400
7Dead Island 210,600
8Naruto x Boruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections8,740
9The Invincible8,660
10Atomic Heart8,130

The Most Pirated Software of 2023

Software can be expensive for businesses to buy and therefore workers are likely to turn to illegal torrenting to keep costs down.

However, this opens the whole business up to dangerous malware attacks.

A BSA Global Software Survey on online piracy statistics in 2018 revealed that unlicensed software accounted for 16% of the software on personal computers in the USA, costing the software industry $9.5 billion.

According to our data, Microsoft Office is the most pirated software of 2023 with 291,000 pages on the internet.

The software is the bread and butter of many businesses and people with over 1.4 million using Microsoft products or services.

However, illegal downloads of the software have led to data breaches with a Ukrainian utility company recently compromising its systems after installing a pirated version of Microsoft Office downloaded from a torrent website.

The graphics editor Adobe Photoshop, loved by photographers and designers all over the world, is the second most pirated software with 187,000 pages of illegal content on the internet.

Adobe products make up many of the remaining top 10 with Illustrator, Premier Pro, After Effects and the whole Creative Cloud in top positions.

image 9
RankingSoftwareNumber of Google Pages
1Microsoft Office291,000
2Adobe Photoshop187,000
3Microsoft Word143,000
4WinRAR128,000
5Adobe Illustrator110,000
6Corel Draw103,000
7Adobe Premiere Pro87,700
8Microsoft Excel75,100
9Adobe After Effects71,600
10Adobe Creative Cloud62,900

The Most Pirated Audiobooks of 2023

Book piracy is rampant in many countries.

The Publishers Association issued a report that stated that in Italy, book piracy was estimated at $856.7 million dollars and cost over 5,400 jobs.

The Egyptian Publishers Union found in 2018 that piracy cost Egypt’s publishers $16.8 million annually, while the UK’s Intellectual Property Office found in 2017 that 17% of all ebooks consumed that year were pirated.

As a planet, we’re all eager to read and consume the next bestseller, but it seems it’s becoming more common to download a book than go out to the shop and buy a hard copy.

The same can be said for audiobooks. In our study, we’ve found hundreds of thousands of pages offering free torrent content.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the most pirated audiobook in 2023 is the explosive memoir of Prince Harry.

“Spare” has racked up 193,000 pages of pirated content, eclipsing all other audiobooks launched this year as Prince Harry bore all to the world and pulled back the curtain of the British royal family.

The book received wide acclaim and quickly became the fastest-selling adult nonfiction print book since 2004.

image 10
RankingAudiobookNumber of Google Pages
1Spare193,000
2The Trial32,000
3The Woman in Me8,550
4None of This is True7,620
5Happy Place7,280
6The Diary of a CEO3,540
7The Rebound3,260
8Hello Beautiful3,060
9The Covenant of Water3,030
10Politics on the Edge1,770

How Much Does Pirated Content Increase Costs for Industries?

One of the biggest reasons people pirate content is because they don’t have the money to spend.

This is why piracy is particularly common among teenagers who aren’t financially independent enough to buy any game or movie that they want.

However, this means that the industries are taking the brunt of the hit and losing money.

If we look at the gaming industry, for example, an average game costs $69.99 in the U.S. and we’ve found at least 536,424 pages on the internet of illegally torrented gaming content.

This means that the gaming industry could be set to lose $37,544,315 just this year if someone downloads a game from each of those pages 

Similarly, the TV industry is set to lose out on big money this year from piracy.

According to Forbes, more than 50% of streamers have signed up for a streaming service with the intention of only watching one specific show.

There are at least 1,062,646 pages of illegal torrent content on the internet related to TV shows from this year.

With a Netflix subscription being $6.99, if someone chose to watch one of those pieces of torrent content instead of signing up for a subscription, the platform could lose out on $7,427,895.

If we apply the same methodology to films in which there were 4,849,023 web pages of illegal content and the same Netflix cost of $6.99, the platform could lose $33,894,670 globally with film piracy.

While these numbers are a very rough estimate, it shows what some industries are up against in terms of protecting their content from being pirated.

Methodology

To find out the most pirated content of 2023, we first pulled together a seed list of movies, TV shows, games, audiobooks and albums that came out in 2023 along with popular software and music artists.

Using these, we then searched in Google for each piece of content along with “torrent” to ensure that the search results pulled in pages that mention both terms verbatim.

We also filtered the results to only include web pages from the 1st of January up until the 7th of December.

We then noted down the number of pages on Google for each of these terms. Using this information, we finally ranked them by category.

The data was collected in December 2023.

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Written by Jason Wise

Hello! I’m the editor at EarthWeb, with a particular interest in business and technology topics, including social media, privacy, and cryptocurrency. As an experienced editor and researcher, I have a passion for exploring the latest trends and innovations in these fields and sharing my insights with our readers. I also enjoy testing and reviewing products, and you’ll often find my reviews and recommendations on EarthWeb. With a focus on providing informative and engaging content, I am committed to ensuring that EarthWeb remains a leading source of news and analysis in the tech industry.