BitTorrent Expands Download Library11 Jul, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold
Following the lead set by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, independent DVD suppliers Hart Sharp Video, Image Entertainment subsidiary Egami Media, Koch Entertainment and music distributor The Orchard have signed video licensing agreements with peer-to-peer file-sharing network BitTorrent.
The deals bring another 1,600 video titles to BitTorrent's library. Consumers will be able to download video from these publishers on a subscription video-on-demand and download-to-own basis when the new BitTorrent.com service launches in late fall.
In May, Warner Bros. agreed to distribute and sell more than 200 of its movies and TV shows through the Web site. Episodes of TV shows are expected to sell for as little as $1 each.
“Our goal is to provide our customers the widest selection of digital content available,” said Ashwin Navin, president and co-founder of San Francisco-based BitTorrent. “BitTorrent will be an online destination where people go to enjoy everything from the ‘Harry Potter' series to Bollywood music videos.”
While still in the test phase, BitTorrent claims 65 million users, worldwide. The average number of simultaneous users is upwards of 10 million a month.
The four new video licensing deals will bring to BitTorrent a wide range of programming, from documentaries like Hart Sharp's Super Size Me to television's “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and music programs such as Moody Blues: Live at the Greek and KISS: Rock the Nation: Live!
“Unlike brick-and-mortar establishments that have limited shelf space, BitTorrent is able to provide our entire digital library of movie, music, TV and special interest programs to consumers without being restricted by those physical limitations,” said Martin Greenwald, president and CEO of Image Entertainment and chairman of the board of Egami Media.