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
    Spaceboy, 2 Jul 2010 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Second, and just as important, a single event is not a sustainable model. a sustainable model would be when they have about 100 shows in the can, have done this process over and over again, and have always seen similar results. "

    Wrong. It will be proven sustainable when they have ended their story, however many episodes that takes. Their current batch of funding is only coming through donations. When the season or series is done, they will most likely release it via Netflix and DVD/Blu Ray. The money from that can be used to fund the next season or even a different show altogether.

    If they have say, 10 episodes in mind to tell their story, and they make them all and break even, then it's a success. The model works, but you do need good content. And to me, Pioneer One is good content. And this little endeavor has proven that you DON'T need Hollywood to get your content widely distributed.

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