Cinedigm and BitTorrent, Inc. ingenuously partnered to promote Colin Firth and Emily Blunt-driven film “Arthur Newman”, but agreement has led Hollywood to blast it as a “deal with the devil.”
Late last week Cinedigm, a leader in the digital entertainment, and BitTorrent, Inc. announced a “promotional partnership” to help support the release of the feature film “Arthur Newman.” The movie, starring Colin Firth and Emily Blunt, is due to hit theaters today, April 26th.
“Cinedigm’s entrepreneurial marketing style is reflected in this partnership between Silicon Valley and Hollywood,” said Cinedigm Chief Marketing Officer Jill Newhouse Calcaterra in a press release. “By offering consumers legitimate content via the BitTorrent suite of office products, we continue to find creative ways to locate avid audiences for our films.”
Cinedigm used BitTorrent Inc.’s distribution protocol to allow curious fans to view – exclusively – the first seven minutes of the film prior to its debut in theaters. It also made additional material available like stills from the film, the official one sheet and the film trailer.
“This is a visionary move by Cinedigm and represents a significant shift in how in how the media industry perceives BitTorrent,” added Shahi Ghanem, Chief Strategy Officer of BitTorrent, Inc. “Cinedigm is leading a renaissance in indie content distribution and BitTorrent is a great fit as a technology partner.”
“We’ve demonstrated success in forming deep relationships between audiences and creators, growing revenue, and even driving box office traffic for content creators,” continues Ghanem. “Cinedigm is one of our most forward-thinking partners and the first with a theatrical release of such magnitude. We’re able to connect Cinedigm with real movie fans that actively support content creators and by doing so BitTorrent, Inc. can demonstrate how we add value through continued innovation.”
The deal would appear to be a no-brainer for a movie trying to reach increasingly disconnected movie fans, but per usual, it’s taking flac from who else? Hollywood itself.
“It’s a deal with the devil,” one studio executive told TheWrap. “Cinedigm is being used as their pawn.” He added that he thought “BitTorrent is in it for themselves, they’re not in it for the health of the industry.”
It’s a sad reminder of how many in Hollywood and other entertainment industries continue to blame technology rather than embrace it thew new opportunities that they always provide.
“Blaming BitTorrent for piracy is like blaming a freeway for drunk drivers, ” added Jill Calcaterra, Cinedigm’s chief marketing officer, in the same article. “How people use it can be positive for the industry or it can hurt the industry. We want it help us make this indie film successful.”
Exactly. Hollywood is, after all, the same outfit that fought the advent of the VCR and DVD, only to later count them as vital components of ever-changing distribution landscape.
And that’s really what is the crux of the entire argument: distribution. BitTorrent is the perfect tool for quickly putting large files into the hands of YOUR FANS! Why make it difficult for them to become customers? You can either take charge of your own destiny and use technology to your advantage or you can stand by and watch consumers do it for you – to your detriment.
Just ask the music industry if it regrets fighting digital distribution.