August 20, 2013
BitTorrent is primarily known for software that makes it easy to download and distribute pirated digital content. It is now attempting to change its negative image. In the past few months, the company has been actively attempting to convince musicians and content makers that it can help them earn money. The company is offering its BitTorrent Bundle as a way to encourage users to download content, and give creators a way to charge for it.
The company has several things to offer. BitTorrent has a technical edge with its software as an efficient distribution platform for sharing. It also has a significant young male audience that some content creators struggle to reach.
BitTorrent announced that it will debut the pilot of a show about the music industry called “Fly or Die” that will be free to download. If viewers enjoy the show, they can submit their email address, which will offer them access to seven additional videos, background information regarding the show, and a chance to help make the pilot into a full TV series.
“With the show, BitTorrent is conducting both a technical and cultural experiment,” notes Businessweek. “On the technical side is a new format called the BitTorrent Bundle, a type of torrent that will allow content creators to put parameters around content downloads.”
As the company opens its bundling to more content providers, BitTorrent will create ways for content creators to potentially require users to pay to watch a show or open a link, for example. The plan is to allow artists to sell or exchange their content outside conventional digital marketplaces, such as Amazon or Apple.
“We’re going to put the store inside the content,” says Matt Mason, vice president of marketing at BitTorrent. “Whatever the publisher decides is the right way to charge for that piece of content, they’ll be able to.”
BitTorrent is also attempting to demonstrate to content creators that its 160 million user base is a potentially valuable audience. If its “Fly or Die” experiment is successful, the BitTorrent community will be able to claim a degree of authorship of the program as producers are looking for ways to develop their concept ideas.
If BitTorrent is able to succeed, it could also show that the company is encouraging new content creation and is open to legitimate business.
BitTorrent Bundle Provides New Options for Content Creators, ETCentric, 5/9/13
Public Enemy Invites Remixing and Sharing via BitTorrent, ETCentric, 6/20/13