BitTorrent seems an unlikely ally for content creators given its past association with online piracy. But the file sharing site today unveiled yet another tool designed to help media makers to connect with fans – and profit from it. Its latest initiative, the BitTorrent Bundle, introduces a “gated” multimedia torrent designed to boost engagement within its 170 million-strong user base. The format allows creators to put content on offer on BitTorrent, add supplemental multimedia content of any file format or size, and set parameters for how fans can access the bonus materials, potentially via email gate, donation, or pay gate. BitTorrent’s Bundle launches in alpha with EDM music label Ultra Music but the company hopes film and TV creators take advantage of the program as an option for digital distribution. Bundle’s gated torrent could be unlocked, for example, by driving fans to Netflix, iTunes, a movie theater, or a Facebook page for a like. The file sharing site got a huge response last month when it partnered with Cinedigm to release the first seven minutes of Arthur Newman free to BitTorrent users, even if the experiment was more of a success for BitTorrent than for the film. The promo had 1.4 million downloads with 150,000 of those downloaders subsequently visiting the movie’s website for more information.
David Bloom is a contributor to Deadline.
Cinedigm Chief Marketing Officer Jill Calcaterra said the company was delighted with the online uptake of their recent experiment with BitTorrent to promote Arthur Newman, the just-released film starring Colin Firth and Emily Blunt. Under the deal, the file-sharing site was used to distribute 10 minutes of the Cinedigm-distributed film to whomever wanted to download it. “We had 1.4 million downloads in just the first five days”, Calcaterra said today during a panel at the Digital Hollywood conference in Marina del Rey. “That was huge for this little tiny independent film”. Even more importantly, she said, 150,000 of the downloaders then went to the film’s website for more information. Of course, the deal might have attracted hundreds of thousands of possible audience members, but it couldn’t do anything about critic opinion — Arthur Newman’s Metacritic score is a rugged 42, and it made just $108K this weekend in its platform rollout in 248 theaters, a dismal $435 average.
The P2P filesharing company long associated with illegal piracy is engineering a PR facelift. On Monday BitTorrent will post the first seven minutes of Cinedigm‘s April 26 opener Arthur Newman, launching an experimental promotional partnership with …