Mininova has evolved quite a bit since it has started three years ago. Within a year it was one of the most visited torrent sites on the Internet, and the ever increasing number of users resulted in the 4 billionth torrent download recently. Time to ask some questions.
The Mininova team has always been on top of the latest p2p developments. They recently launched a content distribution platform for independent publishers, a music streaming feature, and in the meanwhile they served billions of torrents. In fact, Mininova celebrated the 4 billionth .torrent download earlier this week.
Contrary to the Pirate Bay guys, however, the people behind Mininova prefer to lay low, and don’t speak out in public very often. We had the chance to do a short Q&A with Niek, one of the co-founders and the CEO of Mininova (yes, it’s a company).
TorrentFreak: Recently you have started to focus more on legal content, that is .torrent files uploaded by approved publishers. What are your plans with the Mininova publisher platform for the future, and will this affect the other .torrent files hosted on Mininova?
Niek: We focus on extending and improving our Content Distribution service. Publishers will see more distribution options (e.g. extensive statistics) in the near future, and users will be able to find featured content easier. Our plan is to offer the most sophisticated and scalable distribution service of the future. Functionality of “regular” torrent files will of course be kept as it is now.
TorrentFreak: The Mininova CD launched in December 2007, how many publishers are releasing their content on Mininova now?
Niek: Over 330 premium publishers are now actively using Mininova to share their content. We receive functionality requests from time to time, but overall they’re very pleased with the CD service.
TorrentFreak: Like any other BitTorrent site, Mininova has to deal with a huge number to DMCA takedown requests from copyright holders. How is your relationship with the people who want you to remove .torrent files from your index?
Niek: I would say that in general the relationship with copyright owners is very good. Our copyright policy is being used by many companies and organizations when necessary. Some copyright owners are so satisfied with our service that they send stuff like collectors editions of their products :)
TorrentFreak: Mininova never had it’s own tracker. Why is this? Don’t you think you have a responsibility to help out the BitTorrent community here, especially now there are only a few reliable BitTorrent trackers out there?
Niek: We discussed this matter from the start. We do run a tracker, but only for Content Distribution purposes. Running an open tracker is not a trivial task, it requires major technical and financial backing. Thus, running such a tracker is currently not an option for us.
TorrentFreak: Mininova is a registered company in the Netherlands. Has 2007 been a good year for the company profit wise?
Niek: I would say this was a pretty nice year. We just bought a Palm Tree island in Dubai (we chose the bottom right leaf, for those who’re interested). I also received my second Bugatti Veyron last week (bonus for the increased Q4 numbers). Oh, and don’t forget to watch MTV Cribs next month to see all this stuff. /sarcasm
TorrentFreak: About the future, where do you see Mininova in 10 years from now? do you think people will still download .torrent files by then?
Niek: Predicting the future is probably one of the most dangerous things to do (remember Bill gates and his 640K?). One thing is for sure: P2P won’t go away anytime soon. We will probably share more files than ever in 10 years, either using an improved version of BitTorrent or a different P2P protocol. We hope that Mininova will stay on top of developments.
TorrentFreak: Thanks for taking the time to talk to TorrentFreak, even though you skipped some questions ;) Is there anything you like to add?
Niek: Thanks to all our users! Especially the 4 billion downloads wouldn’t never been possibly without your support and the great help of our moderating team. TorrentFreak, thank you for your time.