BitTorrent Broadens Its Video Play

Diving deeper into video services, BitTorrent has renamed its Bundle video platform BitTorrent Now alongside a plan to add apps for mobile devices and connected TV platforms.

The BitTorrent Now app launched on Google Play/Android today, with launches on iOS smartphones and tablets and Apple TV expected to follow soon.  

The additional platforms, the company has also added an option for publishers for ad-supported streaming. That option is launching as a pilot program prior to a wider rollout for all publishers.

In a move that could enhance its competitive positioning with content makers that use platforms such as YouTube and Vessel, BitTorrent Now is also adding a revenue share model for ad-based streaming that gives 70% of the take to the publisher. The option for transactional, direct pay downloads remains at 90/10t.

BitTorrent, which launched the original Bundle platform in 2013, also announced several pilot partners and content for the rechristened platform, including digital artist/rapper Yung Jake; Nashville folk singer Caleb Groh; Brooklyn-based alternative band Caveman; pop singer/songwriter Kerli; stand-up comedy series The Specials; and We Are San Marino, a documentary series about  “the worst team in FIFA.”  App partners in the film and video category include A24 (studio behind films such as Ex Machina and The Witch); Super Deluxe, a digital video network owned by Turner Broadcasting; Oscilloscope Labs, an indie film distribution company founded by the Adam Yauch, the late founding member of the Beastie Boys; and independent filmmaker Adam Bhala Lough, among others.

The reformed BitTorrent Now follows the recent debut of a BitTorrent Live, a “virtual” MVPD that is initially free and features live linear fare from programing partners such as AWE (formerly called WealthTV), One World Sports, Fightbox, Arthouse, Pursuit Channel, and Newsmax.

More detail about BitTorrent Now and the company’s video strategies will be featured in the June 27 issue of Next TV, a section that runs each week in Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable.