from the pira¢y-is-the-new-paid-content dept
Following the footsteps of Youtube, BitTorrent is experimenting with ways to help artists make money while still giving away their work for free. The first experiment goes live today. Torrentfreak has the details:
The idea is simple. BitTorrent Inc. helps artists to promote a bundle of free content to their 150 million users. This bundle includes a piece of sponsored software such as a media player or anti-virus package that can be installed as an option. When a user installs the free software, both the artist and BitTorrent get a cut of the proceeds.The first artist featured is DJ Shadow, who's releasing a package of exclusives and some sponsored software. Hidden Transmissions From the MPC Era (1992-1996) will be promoted to existing users with banner and text ads and new users will be given that option when installing uTorrent. Getting DJ Shadow on board with free distribution and torrent services is a bit of coup on BitTorrent's part, considering he's made statements in the past decrying what he perceives to be a continuing devaluation of music by file sharing.
“We believe we can make digital distribution even more viable for creators and fans. So, beginning now, we’ll be testing new ways to drive profitability for creators while delivering even more meaningful media experiences for our users,” BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker comments on the announcement.
[I]f you’re holding your breath, waiting for me to boost my cool-quotient by giving my music away for free, it’s not going to happen. The fact is that I feel my music has value. You may disagree, and that’s fine. But I know how much energy I put into what I do, and how long it takes me to make something I’m satisfied with. Giving that away just feels wrong to me. It’s not about money per se; I can donate a large sum of money to charity and not think twice, but I won’t give my art away. I’d rather sell it to 100 people who value it as I do than give it away to 1000 who could care less. That’s MY choice.I point out this statement not to "name and shame" DJ Shadow or as a cheap dig at what could be perceived as a hypocritical act, but rather to show that BitTorrent's experiment would seem to have a chance of succeeding. Given DJ Shadow's stance, it's highly unlikely that he would have signed on to give away his music for free (and linked his name with a service often mentioned in the same breath as "copyright infringement") if he didn't see legitimate potential in the plan.
BitTorrent obviously hopes that showing artists the monetary potential of the uTorrent platform will garner it more recognition as a legitimate platform. Several more campaigns are due to roll out this summer, with BitTorrent closely tracking the response to each experiment.