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BitTorrent Relaunches OTT Creator Network

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Broadening its stake in legitimate video services, BitTorrent has renamed its Bundle video platform “BitTorrent Now,” while also adding apps for iOS and Android devices, as well as Apple TV.

Along with the name change, BitTorrent Now has also added an advertising option for publishers. The ad-based streaming option is launching as a pilot program prior to a wider rollout for all publishers.

In an apparent bid to draw in content providers that tend to work with partners such as You- Tube and Vessel, BitTorrent said its newly-named platform also supports a revenue share for ad-based streaming that gives 70% of the take to the publisher. The option for transactional, direct pay downloads remains at the 90/10 split, in favor of the publisher.

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All “fan data” belongs to BitTorrent Now publishers, the company said.

BitTorrent launched its pay-gate platform in 2014, and said 25% of its publishers are currently using that feature. “And now, we’re launching an additional revenue option for creators: ad-supported streaming, plus new apps for Apple TV, iOS and Android,” the company said.

BitTorrent, which launched the original Bundle platform in 2013, also said several content partners have signed up for the rechristened platform, including digital artist/rapper Yung Jake; Nashville folk singer Caleb Groh; Brooklyn, N.Y.-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.”

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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 System; Oscilloscope Labs, an independent film distribution company founded by the late Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch; and independent filmmaker Adam Bhala Lough, among others. Music-focused app partners include Letter Racer; Atom Factory; Fool’s Gold Records; Pizzaslime; and Never Say Die Records.

BitTorrent Now is one of a growing number of video projects underway at the company.

In May, the company entered the “virtual” multichannel video programming distribution (MVPD) fold with the launch of BitTorrent Live. That service, delivered over-the-top on its peer-to-peer platform, is initially free and features live linear fare from programing partners such as AWE (formerly known as WealthTV), One World Sports, Fightbox, Arthouse, Pursuit Channel, and Newsmax.

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BitTorrent also plans to add subscription pay TV tiers, ad-supported offerings and pay-per-view premium tiers as it secures more distribution deals with programmers. The company believes its P2P approach erases scaling issues that more traditional live streaming services have faced during highly-watched live events.