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. icon
    The eejit (profile), 2 Jul 2010 @ 8:21am

    Re: Pre-paid pay for view

    Yes, some people WILL actually just download it and not give anything back. But that fact that the makers have raised $25,000 ($6k for the pilot, $20k for the next three episodes).

    And before you even THINK of making a reference to that silly cartoon, consider this; the makers are effectively ransoming their work, so that they can continue. Is it sustainable? Probably not. But the fact that they've got this far is saying a lot in a world where, "you must know this list of corporate entities to join our gravy train." is the content industry standard.

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