February 10, 2014
BitTorrent is making efforts to appeal to Hollywood — and help generate legitimate revenue — by offering studios and artists the opportunity to sell and distribute their material in Bundles as a way to entice customers to buy the full content on iTunes or other similar services. BitTorrent Bundles has already teamed up with Lady Gaga, Madonna and Vice Media to launch promotional content including photos, trailers, videos, songs and other extras.
According to Variety, BitTorrent “has long insisted” its software doesn’t enable illegal copying “any more than Web browsers do.” But Hollywood never warmed to BitTorrent, so now the developer is trying to convince studios and artists that they can actually benefit from BitTorrent’s technology.
In the spring, BitTorrent Bundles will let publishers charge for content, “theoretically, rehabbing would-be pirates into paying customers,” the article says. The developer will add a payment option to let users unlock a bundle with their credit cards.
Bundles has already seen success: “For Cinedigm chief marketing officer Jill Newhouse Calcaterra, the prospect of tapping into BitTorrent’s 170 million-plus user base was irresistible,” Variety says. A distributed clip of the movie “Arthur Newman” yielded 2.7 million downloads, resulting in more than 300,000 visits to the studio’s website.
“Drafthouse Films, distributor of Oscar-nominated doc ‘The Act of Killing,’ launched a BitTorrent Bundle on Dec. 31 with videos, interviews, essays and photos about the film,” the article reports. “The bundle for the doc, which details genocidal acts in 1960s Indonesia, has been downloaded 4.5 million times — almost four times the number of YouTube views for the trailer.”
Though many are wary to legitimize BitTorrent further by partnering up with it, the bandwidth its users plow through is undeniable — it’s seen an increase of 245 percent since 2011. “Transaction fees from content sold through Bundles could add a new revenue stream,” says Variety.