To many BitTorrent is synonymous with piracy and as a result it seemed likely that without a name change BitTorrent Inc. would forever struggle to separate itself in the eyes of the public.
Despite the odds, however, BitTorrent Inc. has put up quite a fight to reposition itself as a friend of the artist. Not only in distribution skills either, but also when it comes to monetizing content and returning unprecedented revenue shares back to creators.
Last month the company enjoyed a big breakthrough when Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke decided to release his new album through BitTorrent Inc.’s ‘Bundle’ project. A special paywalled torrent format allowed Yorke to charge BitTorrent users for his album, a first for BitTorrent Inc.
The experiment did very well, with the collaboration reporting in excess of 4.4 million downloads to date. And now, with that success still ringing, BitTorrent Inc. has announced it will open up the paywall project to content creators everywhere.
“Taylor Swift sparked debate over the state of music in recent weeks; the value of a stream, the value of a record,” Matt Mason, BitTorrent’s chief content officer, said in a statement.
“The value of art shouldn’t be up for debate. It should be up to artists. Our goal with BitTorrent Bundle is to restore control to creators.”
While BitTorrent Bundles have become associated with music, the company is opening up the platform to creators of all content including film, digital books and even software. The company won’t be taking the lion’s share of the revenue either. BitTorrent Inc. will ask for just 10% of sales, returning 90% to the artists and creators.
Following in Yorke’s footsteps, yesterday musician Diplo became the second artist to release a pay-gated BitTorrent Bundle. Featuring his original Florida album and plenty of previously unreleased content, the F10rida digital box set is now available for just $5.
It’s unlikely Diplo will achieve Thom Yorke levels of success when it comes to sales, but even a small percentage should provide a decent return after picking up 90% of the spoils.