BitTorrent Inc just announced that they have teamed up with several TV and movie companies. The new list of partners includes 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, G4, Kadokawa Pictures USA, Lionsgate, MTV Networks (Comedy Central, MTV etc.), Palm Pictures and Starz Media.
These deals will add a great deal of content to the BitTorrent Video Store, including popular movies like Mission: Impossible III and X-Men The Last Standand, and popular TV shows such as ‘Prison Break’ and ‘South Park’. The official launch of the BitTorrent video store was delayed, but it is expected to go live in early 2007
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with world-renowned entertainment companies and TV networks,” said Ashwin Navin, President and co-founder of BitTorrent. “This is a true testament to the value of our community, technology and the position we aspire to play in the world of entertainment and content distribution. Our audience has a voracious appetite for digital content and by offering the titles they want with a solid user experience; it’s a win-win situation for both content providers as well as our users.”
Earlier this year BitTorrent Inc announced deals with several other movie and TV companies including Warner Bros.
Update: We’ve just got word that BitTorrent Inc is going to be getting a massive amount of funding from Accel Partners and Doll Capital Management to the tune of $15-25 million. This is still unconfirmed, but two separate and reliable sources have provided us with the same information. We contacted Ashwin Navin regarding the matter. He told us that there were no fundraising announcements at this point.
What’s worth taking note of is the timing of this rumour. It wouldn’t be highly unexpected for BitTorrent to receive a large amount of funding at this point. They have just signed deals with high-profile content companies and their future suddenly looks bright. It is very possible that the venture capitalists knew of the deal in advance and were waiting for it to fall through to confirm their investments.
Another rumour that has arisen once again is the resignation (or firing) of one of BitTorrent’s co-foudners, and inventor of the technology. According to Giga OM, BitTorrent Inc is replacing Bram Cohen with a more experienced manager. The Silicon Valley-based blog is reporting that a head hunter has been hired and that the company is already on the lookout for someone to take his place. “There is talk about founder and CEO Bram Cohen being replaced by a more seasoned manager, and apparently have hired a head hunter, to lead the search,” writes Om Malik. He then goes on to say, “We have confirmed this information.”
Update: Bram Cohen told P2Pnet: “I’d like you to know that I’m still happily on board at BitTorrent, and not going anywhere.”