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Is BitTorrent Going Legit?

by Michael Goodman | 12月 29, 2014

BitTorrent, once the scourge of the Internet, is making an effort to reinvent itself as a legitimate content provider. In June of 2013, BitTorrent first began allowing select artists to legitimately distribute content via the BitTorrent platform.  Now they are expanding it.

In September of 2014, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke made his second solo album, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, available via Bit Torrent. Over 116,000 users downloaded the free track, A Brain In A Bottle and its accompanying video, in the first 24 hours after its release. Downloaders then had the option to pay $5.99/£3.86 for the rest of the album. In the first two month after launch the album was been downloaded 4.4 million times.

To further entice artists and address their concern that they are not making enough from streaming music services, artists keep 90% of the revenue generated via BitTorrent Bundles. In comparison, Spotify pays out 70% of revenues to artists. In addition, artists get all the associated data, including number of impressions and downloads, as well as stream information and email addresses.

Now BitTorrent is expanding into video. Children of the Machine, an eight-episode science-fiction series, will be available on Bit Torrent in August 2015 as either a free ad-supported version, or ad-free version for $4.99. A premium version of the show containing bonus content will be available for $9.95.

By its very nature, torrenting is a social act, one that makes it a great way to share content like music and video. With content becoming more and more social every day artists will be able to spread their own BitTorrent Bundles. Should this gain traction it will present serious problems to services such as Spotify, Pandora, Rdio and others who are already struggling to become profitable.

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