BitTorrent Inc. has been working with artists over the past year to promote their work to the more than 170 million users who use their service. Now they’re allowing artists to put their content on BitTorrent and restrict access to it behind a paywall.
BitTorrent launched an artist promotion program last year, allowing artists to release their content for free, and making use of BitTorrent’s massive 170 million user base to expose their work to the world. The program has thus far been successful, but understandably, some artists would like to see a cash return on the exposure, and as a result “BitTorrent Bundles” has been released.
The concept behind BitTorrent Bundles is that users will be allowed to access a few free samples of an artist’s content, but will be required to do interact with the torrent to gain access to more. In BitTorrent’s first premium bundle, which promotes American DJ Kaskade, entering an email address is sufficient for gaining access to more music. It’s possible to replace the email requirement with a paywall instead, letting the artist charge for additional content.
“Premium content does not exist within the file until a fan interacts with it – by entering a valid email, or payment information. The media as published into the BitTorrent ecosystem will be secure,” said a spokesperson. Secure, in this context, means that the premium content is guaranteed not to contain any malicious files.
BitTorrent can’t stop you from sharing the premium content with others, but they believe people will be honorable and will keep the content out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have it: “We expect people to do the right thing. When given the option, we have seen that people want to reward the artists for offering good, accessible content. [—] What we have found during our past experiments is that our users are inclined to support the content creators that publish into the BitTorrent ecosystem. They appreciate that the artist ‘gets it’ and is willing to engage fans on their native turf”.