Software company BitTorrent and DJ Shadow are to experiment with monetizing torrent downloads.
BitTorrent, creators of the BitTorrent and uTorrent file-sharing software, will release a “BitTorrent Bundle” containing preview tracks from the musician’s forthcoming album “Hidden Transmissions From The MPC Era (1992-1996)”. The pack will also contain archive images and footage from that period of Shadow’s career.
As we recently reported, statistics have indicated that the UK Pirate Bay ban did nothing to stem the flow of traffic to the file-sharing portal. In contrast to the record companies’ censorship bids and legal shenanigans, BitTorrent are taking a different approach.
The company have dabbled in bundle releases before with the likes of Counting Crows, Kumare and Chester French. This time, the set-up is a little different: part of the bundle contains a link to download free software created by one of BitTorrent’s advertising partners. Every time a user signs up to the bundle, then clicks through to download the software, DJ Shadow gets a cut of profits.
Et voila: musicians making money from torrent downloads, albeit indirectly.
In a statement about the company’s attempts to help artistic industries, BitTorrent chief executive officer Eric Klinker sounded optimistic that the future could lie in advertising revenue:
“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.
Our core business is creating the best torrent products in the world. While we will always have advertising and offer-free products in market such as BitTorrent Plus, we’ve seen how relevant and meaningful good content offers are to our users, and how supportive the BitTorrent community is of the content creators we work with.
New business models built on top of the BitTorrent ecosystem are the future of content. This is where fans are. It’s time to bring artists, filmmakers and game developers into that conversation in meaningful ways too.”
With 150 million worldwide users, the BitTorrent Bundles will go out to a wide audience. The company plans further experimental releases similar to the above in the coming months, and hope it will offer an alternative means for artists to make money from their music in the digital age.
With most recent news relating to torrents and downloads focusing on the evils of theft and litigious organizations, it’s refreshing to see a more constructive attempt to adapt the music industry to the shifts and changes in technology.
“Hidden Transmissions From The MPC Era (1992-1996)” will be available from August 15th. BitTorrent users can download the bonus Bundle content now.