"The Walking Dead" Season 8 Update:
After almost 12 weeks of pause, Rick, Daryl and the whole crew are back on the screens, continuing the fight against Negan and the Saviors. On February 25, 2018, the ninth episode "Honor" officially aired on AMC and unfolded the fate of Rick's son Carl, who has presumably been bitten by Walkers in the mid-season finale in December 2017.
The number of viewers who watched the latest episodes on AMC continuously decline and so did the number of P2P users that are interested in new episodes. While the decreasing interest runs throughout the whole Season 8 of AMC's flagship show, "The Walking Dead" seem to lose its popularity of glory-days. But how are P2P users reacting after Episode 9 and its news on Carl's fate?
On the day "Honor" was officially released, torrent files containing the new episode weave their usual way to P2P networks. Compared with the Season 8 opener, however, more than 300,000 less fans expressed their interest in sharing "Honor". Besides previous episodes of Season 8, the mid-season opener also showed a weak performance compared with the mid-season opening in Season 7. That said, "Honor" drew 48% fewer fans than what Season 7's Episode 9, "Rock in the Road", brought in.
Although the mid-season opening raised some alternately positive voices in critics, the latest drop shows that the downward development of "The Walking Dead" continues. But the zombie franchise is nevertheless one of the most popular TV shows in the U.S., captivating more viewers than any other series. Therefore it is not surprising, that "The Walking Dead" has been renewed for a ninth season. With the new showrunner and former co-producer of TWD, Angela Kang, the show is taking care of the mammoth task of turning viewership numbers upward again.
The following chart compares the daily file sharer numbers for each mid-season premiere one day after their official release date:
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'THE WALKING DEAD' SEASON 8: MID-SEASON FINALE SEES 25% DECREASE IN P2P NUMBERS COMPARED TO THE PREMIERE EPISODE
December 14, 2017
AMC's “The Walking Dead” – one of the most popular shows on television – just aired their mid-season finale on December 10, 2017. As we already reported over the last couple of weeks, the TV show ratings and piracy numbers for this once perpetually successful zombie series started to show strongly declining trends. Looking at the most up-to-date numbers, we will determine if this trend could have been turned upside down, or if the latest episodes of Season 8 lost even more fans.
From our last analyses of “The Walking Dead” Season 8’s piracy numbers, it’s become normal for them to remain at the same level throughout the season’s release window. Spoiled by success over the last few years, the TV show appears to be losing its glory-days glitz, as TV ratings mostly went down from one episode to the next. But with the mid-season finale, “How It’s Gotta Be”, which brought in 3.4 million viewers from the key demographic of people aged 18 to 49, “The Walking Dead” numbers improved slightly. And with 7.89 million total viewers, this measurement saw a slight uptick, too. However, the first part of Season 8 averaged 3.8 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic, marking a decline of nearly 33% compared with the average number for the first half of Season 7. But to be fair, the mid-season finale still managed to attract more fans than any of its competitors that aired on the same day, grabbing the top spot in U.S. TV ratings. 
Just as we reported on November 29, 2017, TV ratings for “The Walking Dead” have followed its TV show piracy numbers even further downward for Season 8. This trend reached rock bottom with 582,000 P2P users actively sharing the mid-season finale one day after the official release – 25% less than the season premiere. Thus the descent continues. And, compared with Season 7’s mid-season finale, “Hearts Still Beating”, which attracted 952,000 P2P users, Season 8’s only managed to bring in two-thirds as many users.
In addition, the sum of daily P2P users in 2017 has yet to reach 2016’s 153.2 million. As 2017 is coming to a close, the number of daily file sharers only just reached 149 million. And if this wasn’t enough bad news, the latest mid-season finale of “The Walking Dead” also garnered harsh critics:
Forbes Magazine: “By the end of the episode's ‘shocking’ reveal, I could only shake my head in disgust. What a joke this show has become. A bad joke.” 
That wasn’t all:
Gamesradar: “Despite all my hopes, episode 8 does little to make me want to keep watching The Walking Dead.” 
These are only a couple of the many angry voices raised after the episode aired last Sunday.
How will the story develop with the second part of Season 8 starting on February 25, 2018? And will the AMC TV show manage to reanimate its fans after what happened to Carl in the mid-season finale? Looking at the long-term TV show piracy numbers and ratings, it seems safe to say that a turn toward popularity will be a mammoth task for the creators of “The Walking Dead”.
"If The Walking Dead ratings don’t spike for that episode as Carl apparently exits the apocalypse permanently in his own personal series finale, it seems unlikely, at this juncture, that the show will ever regain its past popularity." the Inquisitr reported on December 13.
TV RATINGS FOLLOW TV SHOW PIRACY FURTHER DOWNWARD FOR 'THE WALKING DEAD' SEASON 8
November 29, 2017
As of Nov. 29, six episodes of the eighth season of “The Walking Dead” have already been released. And so far, the demand for episodes doesn’t show signs of heading dramatically upward. File sharers from all over the world, especially in important markets like Brazil, Russia, China or the U.S., are tracking similar trend line directions: downward. By collecting figures on the worldwide development of P2P users downloading and sharing only the respective episode on the day following their releases, we uncover – after a short uptick after Episode 4 “Some Guy” – an 18% decline from Episode 1 to 6. This fact mirrors the continuously decreasing TV show ratings, which have further dipped and reached historically low numbers once the fifth episode aired on November 19, 2017, according to Nielsen TV ratings.
The declining interest is underlined by decreasing peaks in TV show piracy as well as by the annual sum of daily file sharers for 2017.
The sum of daily file sharers for 2017 to date: 138.7 million
Compared with 2015, the annual sum of daily file sharers in 2016 showed declining figures. After a 6% drop from 163 million in 2015 to 153.2 million in 2016, the annual sum of daily file sharers is evidence of the numbing of “The Walking Dead” hype. As numbers for 2017 indicate, this trend may continue throughout the end of the year.
Besides the current downward trends, the TV show “The Walking Dead” managed to attract a considerable amount of file sharers up to November 29, 2017. Based on the TV show piracy statistics, more than 193 million P2P users have been counted since TECXIPIO started monitoring P2P activity in July 2012. The total sum of daily file sharers for the same period adds up to more than 816 million!
There are two more episodes on deck before the mid-season break kicks in, but will they be able to turn around the trend for “The Walking Dead” Season 8?
‘THE WALKING DEAD’ SEASON 8: PIRACY DECLINED EVEN MORE FOR LATEST EPISODES
November 8, 2017
Since July 2012, more than 191 million P2P users downloaded and shared at least one file of “The Walking Dead” up to November 8, 2017. The total sum of daily file sharers for the same period adds up to more than 802 million!
Nonetheless, the downward trend is still in motion. According to the P2P numbers, the 2nd episode, “The Damned”, as well as the 3rd episode, “Monsters”, attracted only 754,300 and 618,200 P2P users on the days after their official releases, respectively. This corresponds to a further drop of 20% from the first to the third episode. With a 20.68% decline among TV viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 for Episode 2, followed by another 5.01% for Episode 3, the TV ratings mirror the decreasing file sharing trends.
‘THE WALKING DEAD' SEASON 8 BRINGS CENTENNIAL EPISODE AND NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN PIRACY DATA
October 25, 2017
The popular zombie series “The Walking Dead” has reanimated with Season 8, kicking of the new season with the show’s 100th episode on October 22, 2017. In the new episode, “Mercy”, Rick and his crew – joined by the Kingdom and Hilltop – storm the airwaves and the enemy outpost to fight against the dead and their merciless human nemesis, Negan.
The milestone episode drew harsh criticism from the press, including a particularly vivid opinion that ran in Forbes on October 23, 2017:
“There’s a moment in the Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead that transformed a reasonably decent season opener into an hour of television I wanted to smash to pieces with Lucille.”
Nevertheless, loyal fans downloaded and shared files of “The Walking Dead” even as Nielson Live+Same Day ratings came in at a measly 5.0 and brought almost 6 million fewer viewers to their TV sets than the 8.4-rated Season 7 opener. But on P2P networks, more than 1 million file sharers reached for episodes of “The Walking Dead” on the day of the Season 8 premiere and the following day. Apart from late adopters or newly infected fans, 774,685 of the total unique file sharers were interested in the kickoff episode of Season 8 the day following the first airing in the United States.
Even so, the figures for Episode 1 of “The Walking Dead” Season 8 couldn’t beat Season 7’s:
Season 7 Episode 1 “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” on October 24, 2016: 1,330,718
Season 8 Episode 1 “Mercy” on October 23, 2017: 774,685
The usual country line-up continues to follow the same trend: Since “The Walking Dead” kicked down the door of Season 8, the show’s most active fans came from Brazil, followed by the United States, United Kingdom, France and Russia. Unsurprisingly, the most-used ISP to download and share the TV series “The Walking Dead” was the Brazilian provider Vivo.
Are you itching to know how “The Walking Dead” piracy numbers will develop during its eighth installment? Are the days really numbered for the TV series in the United States? Does the comparably weak opening signal a slow decline in hunger for new episodes of “The Walking Dead” Season 8 among file sharers or will future episodes within the release window provide an antidote that swings that trend around? Stay tuned for our file sharing statistics on “The Walking Dead” Season 8!
‘THE WALKING DEAD' SEASON 8: LOOKING AT PAST TRENDS BEFORE THE FRENZY BEGINS
October 19, 2017
Wrap up: How has the world’s most popular zombie series developed over the course of the last five years?
“The Walking Dead” Season 8 will hit the screens on October 22 with its 100th episode. Back in April, we released a full four-part analysis of TWD. This article is a quick wrap up of TV show piracy trends for "The Walking Dead" over the last five years.
And of course, we’ll keep you posted on P2P user responses to the new episodes of “The Walking Dead” Season 8 and to what degree they fall prey to infection!
TECXIPIO started to monitor P2P activity in mid-2012. Since then, we have been able to observe a number of trends related to online piracy of the show. Over roughly the last five years – a time span that saw five full season release windows – episodes of “The Walking Dead” were downloaded and shared by a total of 189 million unique IP addresses. But that figure doesn’t take into account whether file sharers were active on multiple days. However, there are significant differences: Looking back at the total sum of daily P2P users who pirated at least one file of the series, the number reached 789.7 million.
In contrast to our last analysis – where we deep-dived into the numbers based on season release windows – we’ll now have a broader look at the overall numbers, including “The Walking Dead” season breaks.
“The Walking Dead” has reaped consistently high interest for some time, but there are initial signs that the hype surrounding the world’s most popular zombie series might be starting to cool down. This is evident when looking at both piracy peaks after episode releases and the annual sum of daily P2P users:
THE HUNGER FOR NEW GORY EPISODES REMAINS RATHER UNSATIABLE AMONG FANS IN BRAZIL, USERS IN THE UNITED STATES APPEAR TO HAVE HAD THEIR FILL
“The Walking Dead” was most popular among file sharers from the following countries (based on the sum of daily file sharers since 2012):
Whereas the hunger for new gory episodes remains rather unsatiable among fans in Brazil, users in the United States appear to have had their fill, turning elsewhere for content to feast on. In 2013, the total number of daily P2P users pirating TWD files was almost at the same level in Brazil as in the United States (15.6 vs. 15.3 million). From that year on, the trend lines migrated in opposite directions – 22.4 million users in Brazil in 2016 vs. 10.1 million in the United States (see infographic).
The significance of these figures really starts to become clear when compared to the total number of internet users in each country – 139.1 million in Brazil and 286.9 in the U.S. in 2016. 
But there are other countries that saw a growing appetite for episodes of the zombie series around Rick, Daryl, Carl, Maggie and the whole crew of people living on the Hilltop and Alexandria.
For example, in 2013, the TV show attracted 5.6 million file sharers in France. That number nearly doubled in 2016 to 11.9 million. Spain’s trend lines aren’t all that different: 6.7 million in 2013 vs. 10.4 in 2016. And although there is another release window in 2017 – this time for “The Walking Dead” Season 8 – the updated number of 10.5 million already tops the previous year. And again, just look at the total number of internet users (measured in IP addresses) per country for comparison: 55.9 million in France and 37.9 million in Spain.
Interestingly, other English-speaking countries such as Australia and Canada (even though partly French) show the same declining trend that already took place in the United States, both shrinking by about 2 million file sharers from 2013 to 2016. And even in the United Kingdom, numbers dropped from 7.4 million to 6.8 million.
WHICH SEASON AND EPISODES WITNESSED THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF FILE SHARERS OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS?
Overview of "The Walking Dead" season release dates since 2012:
– start October 22.
October 23, 2016 – April 2, 2017
October 11, 2015 – April 3, 2016
October 12, 2014 – March 29, 2015
October 13, 2013 – March 30, 2014
October 14, 2012 – March 31, 2013
Let’s start with the catch-ups and the very first episodes released before 2012. Seasons 1 and 2 were downloaded by a total of 34.7 and 56.5 million.
Whereas Season 2 was primarily watched before Season 3 launched in most other countries, there was a significant number of late starters in Spain who sought after the first seasons between August 2016 and today, thereby underscoring an increasing fan base in Spain mentioned above.
Although we have to keep in mind that earlier episodes have been available in P2P networks for much longer, there has been a declining trend from season to season overall, which we already identified in the release window analysis at beginning of this year. Generally, piracy numbers seem relatively stable due to late catch-ups in some countries, but there was a downward trend revealed over the last two release windows. In fact, it appears that early adopters of the show are starting to drop out entirely. Users used to eagerly await new episodes, but interest in the overall storyline seems to have faded over the years.
Number of IP addresses associated with the download of at least one episode (by season):
Season 3: 151.8 million
Season 4: 157.82 million
Season 5: 153.4 million
Season 6: 148.9 million
Season 7: 133.9 million
Top episodes by number of unique file sharers:
Season 7, Episode 8: Hearts Still Beating
Season 6, Episode 1: First Time Again
Season 5, Episode 1: No Sanctuary
Season 4, Episode 1: 30 days without An Accident
Season 4, Episode 3: Isolation
Season 3, Episode 1: Seed
Eager to find out what the future holds for “The Walking Dead” Season 8? Then stay tuned and follow us on LinkedIn to stay tuned as we analyze file sharing trends and provide updates for the show in the months following the season release.
Source file sharing data: TECXIPIO PIC
Definition: The file sharing data is based on number of unique file sharers: How many peers (file sharers) shared at least one file of 'The Walking Dead' within a certain time period?