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Warner Bros. offers Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on BitTorrent
Venture capitalists and entertainment industry bet on BitTorrent

BitTorrent, Inc. today announced it has closed $20 million in Series B financing. New investor Accel Partners led the round with participation from initial investor DCM. This latest round of funding will support the company's plan to power other websites with BitTorrent’s content delivery service.

 

"When I created BitTorrent in 2001, my mission was to solve the problem every website has when distributing large, popular files," said Bram Cohen, CEO and Co-Founder of BitTorrent. "This mission is still what drives BitTorrent today and couldn't be more relevant as the Web grows into a channel for consuming large, high-value entertainment and information content. This financing is a clear testament to the strength of our technology and potential growth, and I look forward to spearheading the continued development of BitTorrent."

 

Also announced this week is BitTorrent’s partnerships with the following film and television companies: 20th Century Fox, G4, Kadokawa Pictures USA, Lionsgate, MTV Networks (including Comedy Central, Logo, MTV: Music Television, MTV2, Nickelodeon, Nicktoons Network, SpikeTV, The N, TV Land and VH1), Palm Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Starz Media. will publish movies and TV shows on BitTorrent.com. BitTorrent previously announced partnerships with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Egami Media, Hart Sharp, Koch Entertainment and The Orchard

 

Movies such as "X-Men: The Last Stand" and "Mission: Impossible III," and TV shows such including "Ghost in the Shell," "24" and "Chappelle's Show" will be published on BitTorrent.com. Most film titles will be available for purchase on a Download-to-Own (DTO) basis or for rent on a Video-on-Demand (VOD) basis, while TV content will be available for DTO only.

 

"We're thrilled to be partnering with world-renowned entertainment companies and TV networks," said Ashwin Navin, President and Co-founder of BitTorrent. "This is a true testament to the value of our community, technology and the position we aspire to play in the world of entertainment and content distribution. Our audience has a voracious appetite for digital content and by offering the titles they want with a solid user experience; it's a win-win situation for both content providers as well as our users."



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Small problem
By OrSin on 12/1/2006 1:24:05 PM , Rating: 4
If I have to pay to Download something I should not have to share my bandwidth. Not sure how the service works since I will never be using it, but dont ask me for anthing if you already took my money.




RE: Small problem
By CrazyBernie on 12/1/2006 1:31:44 PM , Rating: 5
If sharing my bandwith results in me being able to download something much faster, then it's fine with me. It's not like you have to keep sharing once the download is complete.


RE: Small problem
By Kuroyama on 12/1/2006 1:45:01 PM , Rating: 2
When I download from Movielink it uses the full capacity of my (slow 750kbit) DSL connection. Maybe that won't be the case with someone using a 3Mbit connection, but at least I don't see any obvious reasons why this will be an improvement unless the movies are cheaper since they don't have to buy as much bandwidth of their own.


RE: Small problem
By Alphafox78 on 12/1/2006 2:07:25 PM , Rating: 3
it would be an improvement because you would actually be able to download a high demand file at a resonable speed instead of getting timeout messages.


RE: Small problem
By finalfan on 12/1/2006 1:40:49 PM , Rating: 2
Agree. Or it should be cheaper 'cause the consumers are paying for the distribution infrastructure.


RE: Small problem
By MDme on 12/1/2006 2:25:36 PM , Rating: 3
actually, I think the real issue is, why would I keep my torrent on (to seed) after I finish downloading the movie? Since this is a pay service there is no onus to keep the torrent alive by being a seeder. Therefore, there might be less efficient torrents coz no one will seed after they're done with the download.


RE: Small problem
By mindless1 on 12/1/2006 11:26:20 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps a better question is, why WOULDN'T you keep seeding? If you have limited your concurrent connections you should still have full use of your system, and if you're really concerned about minor latencies then set up your network to prioritize OTHER packets.


RE: Small problem
By MDme on 12/2/2006 12:03:20 PM , Rating: 2
unfortunately, you gain NOTHING from seeding a COMPLETED download no matter how you optimize your packets.


RE: Small problem
By jamelt on 12/1/2006 3:10:59 PM , Rating: 3
If it you are buying these movies commercially off website that uses the BitTorrent medium to deliver you the movie, it will not be the same experience as downloading a torrent off of torrentspy.

On torrentspy, the torrent is made available solely through a couple of philanthropic seeders, and these people are on cable modems.

Big companies like Microsoft, Adobe, etc. can offer tremendous download speeds, the only downside is the impulsive flux in traffic. Its the large demand at the same time. So as opposed to dedicating these servers for direct download you swap them over to seeding torrents, and then you have seeders with enormous bandwith seeding the torrent.

Torrents shine the most when they are placed under high demand situations because a lot of the load is taking off of the seeders, which is cheaper for the distributor, and the person can gets their stuff faster.

By the nature of movies rentals, this is the only real solution. At your local Blockbuster, on Tuesday all of a new release will be gone, and then in two weeks they will all be on the shelves, usually with less copies. On the internet you have the same time of demand. So the torrent servers can handle that and they can even adjust the bandwidth to seed a particular torrent.

Naturally, torrents are the only practical distribution medium for movies.


Pricing Tiers?
By Roffles on 12/1/2006 2:47:47 PM , Rating: 5
A good idea would be to offer a movie at different prices depending on how much you are williing to share.

$20 to dowload and own
$18 to download with a 1.0 share
$16 to download with a 1.5 share

And since you have an account that can moniter your ratio and share-per-movie, it would work like a charm.

I wouldn't expect the system to work if people seed for greater than a 1.5 share because too many seeders means it will take an unreasonably long time to achieve your own 2.0 or 3.0 share.




RE: Pricing Tiers?
By Chudilo on 12/1/2006 3:06:57 PM , Rating: 2
Wow. I think you got the idea right there.
You will get credit for sharing.

And yes they want you to have difficulty achieving a ratio that's too high, because it might effect their profit margins.
I think it's great marketing strategy. They can advertise the movie to be UP-TO almost free if you seed it a lot :)
The actual amount of effort involved to make up for the price is a different story, but you could always make the argument that if you want something you gotta work for it one way or another.



Nice!
By CrazyBernie on 12/1/2006 1:27:06 PM , Rating: 4
That's awesome... congrats to BitTorrent.




Pricing.
By therealnickdanger on 12/1/2006 2:16:46 PM , Rating: 3
I'll reserve judgement until I see pricing. If we're talking about $5 for a movie to OWN and put onto a DVD, I'll share bandwidth until my pants fall off... (whatever that means)




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