Welcome to the parallel universe of television, where everything is just happening a little later. And, major studios, producers, and everyone down to the grips are grappling with the question of whether their business is going away.
Enter Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, who recently told the BBC that massive, record-setting levels of piracy on Breaking Bad have helped to raise awareness and draw new audiences. “It’s helped the show gain popularity and brand awareness,” Gilligan said.
“It has led to a lot of people watching the series who otherwise would not have.”
The question, being furiously debated, is the actual cost of ‘awareness’ and greater popularity.
“The downside is a lot of folks who worked on the show would have made more money, myself included, if all those downloads had been legal.”
The final episode of Breaking Bad was downloading through BitTorrent more than half-a-million times in the first 12 hours alone, according to Torrentfreak. In many cases, users had easy access to Netflix, available for $7.99 a month.