Peer-to-peer file sharing company BitTorrent, Inc. has entered into an exclusive partnership with Rapid Eye Studios to identify, produce, and distribute original video content for the BitTorrent Bundle platform, to be known as BitTorrent Originals. BitTorrent Originals represent first-run video content debuting exclusively across the global Bundle platform for 30 to 60 days. After the BitTorrent exclusive window, each project will be available through any other distribution channel. Each BitTorrent Original will receive marketing support across the entire BitTorrent ecosystem in addition to a 90/10 split in favor of the content creator. Creators may choose to offer the content through an advertiser supported or EST (Electronic Sell Through) model.
"This landmark deal with Marco (Marco Weber, CEO of Rapid Eye Studios) is a major milestone for us and an aggressive expansion into the media space for BitTorrent, Inc.," stated Eric Klinker, CEO for BitTorrent, Inc. "In the last two years, we’ve become a trusted and valid channel for creators and publishers to reach a monthly global audience of 170 million fans directly. Expanding into the world of original content is a move that makes us a serious player in the media business, and takes us another step closer toward our goal: creating a sustainable digital future for creators of all kinds."
Criteria for BitTorrent Originals will include a focus on stories appealing to a young, creative, and influential group of 14-25 year-olds that make up the BitTorrent audience of 170 million monthly active users. The first project, Children of the Machine, was announced in 2014 with additional BitTorrent Originals to be revealed in the coming months.
With Children of the Machine, which begins shooting this spring, BitTorrent has tapped creators Marco Weber (Igby goes Down, Unthinkable, The 13th Floor) and Jeff Stockwell (Bridge to Terabithea, The Dangerous Live of Altar Boys) to write and serve as Executive Producers of the sci-fi series.
Children of the Machine is slated to launch on BitTorrent Bundle in late 2015 for free with an advertiser supported model. In addition, a premium version of the series will be available for $9.95 leveraging the same BitTorrent Bundle paygate feature Radiohead’s Thom Yorke used to sell Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes.
In addition to the series, a separate Bundle will offer a Children of the Machine video game, to be launched and distributed through the platform.
Global advertisers are in negotiations with BitTorrent and Rapid Eye Studios for access to the BitTorrent Original content initiative via sponsorship, advertising, and brand integration opportunities.