Last week BitTorrent Inc. landed $8.75 million in venture capital financing.
So why might this all change our world? Simply put, suddenly anyone can be a broadcaster. No longer do you need a network to get your product out. Just compress your show into a computer file, add the BitTorrent protocol, and put it on the Net. Users just click on a link and download it to watch when they want. Ashwin Navin, chief operating officer of BitTorrent Inc., says he’s already persuaded media companies to sign up. He sees BitTorrent spawning lots of new TV programs as small and big producers alike make use of its low-cost distribution channel. “This tool empowers the creative folks, especially those that don’t want to pitch their idea for years before they get their big break.”
Mark Pesce, a lecturer in interactive media at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, has no doubt it’s going to change not just the way TV is distributed, but how TV programming is made. “BitTorrent is here to stay,” he told a conference of filmmakers in Montreal last month, “and what it does changes everything about everything in the creative industries.”