The Internet has created a world where value is determined by virality.
BitTorrent is contributing to the evolution of how content gets shared. The creator of file-sharing technology revealed today that people have downloaded BitTorrent Bundles 60 million times in less than a year, and nearly 164,400 BitTorrent Bundles are downloaded a day.
“We used to define the value of an artwork by its frame. It’s in a museum. It’s validated by critics. It’s priced by a label or a store. It is owned,” BitTorrent’s VP of Marketing Matt Mason said. “The mainstreaming of Instagram changes the meaning of photography: Beauty is interaction. The mainstreaming of Reddit changes the meaning of the news: Upvotes equal importance. And the ubiquity of Miley changes the meaning of music: Song is self-advertising. We’ve been watching our art objects become social objects. 2013 was the year that it stuck. Content has finally caught up with the Internet: value = virality.”
The entertainment industry despised BitTorrent for many years because it made it easier for consumers to access content without paying for it. Music, television, and film all struggled to adapt their business models to this new world and figure out how to make money off of “virality” if that content was circulating for free.
BitTorrent made a big push for legitimacy last year, attempting to shed its reputation as a vehicle for pirating content.
It released a new file format called BitTorrent Bundles in September, which gives movie makers, recording artists, authors, and any other content creator the ability to embed a mini-store inside their work. This was revolutionary because it turned sharing into currency, meaning the more viral content gets, the more money it makes.
Finally, a content distribution format designed for the Internet era.
Those efforts have paid off. World famous musicians, including Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Moby have created Bundles, as has an Oscar-nominated documentary titled the Act of Killing, and celebrity author Tim Ferriss.
The bundle for Moby’s eleventh studio album “Innocents” was downloaded 8.9 million times. Popular YouTube show Epic Meal Time created a Bundle that was downloaded 8.6 million times and contributed 316,000 new visits to the Epic Meal Time site. (See the full list below.)
BitTorrent published 448 bundles, worked with 8,000 publishers, and attracted 21 million site visits in 2013. Next year, Mason said to expect Bundle pay gates, social gates, and artist analytics tools.