TV Show Released On BitTorrent Raises $20,000 Pretty Damn Fast

from the but-there-are-no-business-models dept

You may have seen the recent stories about the "TV show" Pioneer One that was made with the plan all along to release the show on BitTorrent, and to set up a tiered system to fund future episodes. While some people insist that BitTorrent users never download authorized content, after the show was released, it quickly became a top download beating out lots of more "famous" competitors. On top of that, it appears that people are donating. Zubin Madon alerts us to the news that in just about a week, the producers of the show have hit their goal of raising $20,000 to produce the next batch of episodes. This isn't a "give it away and pray" sort of deal. It's a recognition that the first episode is the "pilot" and the scarcities that are being sold are the creation of more episodes. This is one of the more complicated scarcities for people to understand: content, once created and released to the world, is infinite. However, content not yet created is scarce. So it's a perfectly reasonable business model to try to sell the creation of new content, which is exactly what the producers here have done successfully.

And, to cut off the expected usual crew of Hollywood defenders in the comments, no I'm not saying that all TV shows/movies/etc. should or could be funded this way. And, yes, $20,000 is definitely a very low budget. But it is an example of this sort of model working, and there's certainly no indication that it can't or won't scale.

Filed Under: bittorrent, crowdfunding, funding, pioneer one, tv shows

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  1. identicon
    One of the great unwashed..., 1 Jul 2010 @ 6:27pm

    wow, just here to argue...

    and not even do a little research, aren't you..

    They used Kickstarer to fund the pilot show:

    For the initial episode:
    122 Backers
    Pledged $7,485
    With the goal of $6,000

    Yes, the initial backers may have been friends and family. (then again, they may not have been)... but so what, people put up money on this and may not get anything back other than the right to say they funded the pilot episode.

    If you visit the Vodo websight you'd see that
    in a week and a half they've raised $21,166 (the goal was $20k). These donations will fund the next THREE episodes.

    Filming on the next three episodes is currently scheduled to start in September 2010.

    Techdirt had a nice little video up a few weeks ago about what motivates creative people, see if you can find it. The 10 minutes it took to view it was time well spent (in my opinion at least).

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