October 21, 2013
Vice Media worked with Madonna to release a “Bundle” through BitTorrent called “Art for Freedom.” In a period of less than three weeks, the Bundle experienced more than 1.2 million downloads. The Bundle includes the 17-minute film “secretprojectrevolution” that Madonna co-directed with Steven Klein, in addition to special bonus features. The collaboration with Madonna has encouraged Vice Media to partner with BitTorrent to release a series of Bundles.
This series will be released starting in mid-November and will feature original video content that explores the relationship between open technology and creative expression.
“Vice’s main goal in teaming with BitTorrent is certainly promotional, to garner attention for its original content — and using a platform shunned by traditional media congloms certainly plays into its contrarian ethos. In addition, by using BitTorrent, Vice can save money on bandwidth costs since files are downloaded directly among users over the Internet rather than from centralized servers,” reports Variety.
“BitTorrent has been incredibly transformative for millennial audiences around the world, so this is a really exciting collaboration for us,” Vice Media VP of sales Ben Dietz said. “BitTorrent’s distribution platform gives millions instant access to the ‘story behind the story’ type (of) content we’re producing for this series of Bundles.”
Despite this enthusiasm, BitTorrent has been criticized for enabling piracy. However, the company insists that they do not enable piracy any more than a Web brower, and that they give users access to thousands of legal movies, books, songs and software applications.
“The ‘Vice x BitTorrent Bundle’ series will provide original videos, music, archival content and behind-the-scenes footage directly from artists,” explains Variety. “Select video features from each BitTorrent Bundle will be featured on Vice.com, its music website Noisey or the Thump electronic dance music channel. The BitTorrent Bundle format is designed to hold multiple file types, with the option of ‘unlocking’ content if a user provides an email address or pays.”