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
    Hephaestus (profile), 2 Jul 2010 @ 8:45am

    Re: Pre-paid pay for view

    Damn darryl. You are either paranoid, or work for the TV studios and are afraid this sort of business plan will work and take off. Maybe both.

    The reasons I can see this worrying people in the TV and movie industries are ...

    1) It shows that TV and Movies can be made for under 2 million dollars an episode and under 100 million per movie.

    2) It reduces the percieved value of TV shows and Movies. Making people less willing to pay for content from the big studios. This same thinking is used by the record labels in iTunes pricing.

    3) The Reduction in cost of equipment and production making and causing competition from the tens of thousands of people who will eventually follow in their footsteps of the "Pioneer One" production team.

    4) The loss of market share as more and more people enter the monopoly arena of TV and Movie production.

    I know what you are feeling ... Fear ... Loathing ... despair ... and yes its only going to get worse, I bet you wish you had made a different career choice.

    Welcome to the future now go out and get a real job.

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