BitTorrent Inventor Bram Cohen On BitTorrent’s Future

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In a recent interview BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen looked back at some of the failures his company had in the past, and how this changed their focus from selling goods and services to serving the 80 million monthly users uTorrent and the Mainline client have. Cohen also revealed what is expected to come in the future. His pet project, BitTorrent live streaming, will be released to the public soon.

BitTorrent Inc., the company behind the Mainline client and uTorrent, celebrated the big roll-out of the Apps platform at the NewTeeVee Live conference in San Francisco yesterday. One of the attendees was BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen. Cohen co-founded the BitTorrent company, (which is named after the famous protocol) back in 2004 and is currently still on the payroll as chief scientist.

At the event Cohen sat down for an interview to talk about the new App platform, and how the company came to be where it is now. Some of the failures such as the video store and BitTorrent’s CDN were briefly touched on, and according to Cohen these failures made them realize that the true power of the company lies with the millions of users of their software.

Together, the Mainline client and flagship uTorrent have a massive 80 million monthly active users, and more recently the company shifted most of its resources to the development of the clients instead of selling services and goods to the public.

This also meant that the company’s main source of income is now coming from the Ask toolbar that comes with their BitTorrent client. A rather old-fashioned and not entirely sexy revenue stream, but it pays the bills for the few dozen people at the company.

Finally, Bram Cohen talked about the direction the company is heading in the future, in particular his pet project – BitTorrent live streaming. His implementation, which will be released in a few months, should crush the competing streaming services currently out there in terms of latency and cost efficiency. It will be the ideal platform from which to stream sports events, news events, and webinars according to Cohen, and will allow individuals to stream content to millions of people without having to spend tens of thousands of dollars on bandwidth.

Check out the full interview below.

The Q&A

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