BitTorrent Bundle Becomes New Streaming Video Service

BitTorrent continues to prove that its mission statement about “building a better Internet” is more than just a grand but generally meaningless feel-good phrase.

Since 2001, the company has put substantial effort into improving the process of sharing large files over the Internet. It created the peer-to-peer file sharing protocol that is responsible for at least one-third of all Internet activity. As of 2014, more than 300 million active users were sharing movies, TV shows and music.

The company has created formal relationships with companies that want to distribute data quickly to a lot of people, such as movie distributors wanting to send videos on demand and game companies that need to send out updates. It also provides an official distribution model through its Bundle service for more than 30,000 musicians. Bundle has grown 50 percent in the last year, and now 46 percent of music publishers use it as their primary method to distribute tunes.

Part of the BitTorrent strategy has been to make sure the proper “BitTorrent DNA” content delivery system and related protocols are used whenever someone uses its services, which the company hopes will improves efficiency, reduce bandwidth use and create a more stable and reliable customer experience.

But earlier this month, the company announced plans to go beyond simply creating, maintaining and improving the framework for P2P transactions – BitTorrent is now developing its own live streaming video service.

It recently signed licensing agreements with a variety of branded content providers which will offer a dozen streaming channels including news, sports, politics and entertainment. The video content will be gathered from across the Internet based on selected subject matter.

When the service comes online as early as this summer, the programming will be shared over the BitTorrent Live service and available through a mobile app that can be downloaded for major mobile devices.

Company officials haven’t released the name of this service but said there will be three levels of subscriptions: a basic free level; a paid level; and an a la carte model where you can purchase individual programs or channels.

The new initiative can be seen as key new strategy for BitTorrent, which is also reflected in significant leadership adjustments. CEO Eric Klinker is stepping down to a technical position and dividing his duties between new co-CEOs Robert Delamar and Jeremy Johnson.

According to the company blog, Johnson, who has had key management roles at Sony Online Entertainment and Silver Spring, will focus on market strategy, product development, network building and Internet of Things. Delamar previously worked with digital content platforms such as Totalmovie, urbmob and various European OTT TV services. He’ll focus on much of the digital content management and distribution platforms.

Other promotions include Straith Schreer, VP of creative initiatives, who will work out of the newly opened Los Angeles office, and David Chidekel, head of business development and business affairs, who will focus on sponsorship and content acquisitions.

Though more details about the live streaming service will definitely be forthcoming from BitTorrent in the few weeks, what has already been announced may be exciting news for consumers looking for more sources for streamed entertainment. Whether or not a better Internet will actually be built because of this project remains to be seen, but there are certainly some positives.

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