BitTorrent works with some 30,000 artists who send files across the web, and now you can browse for yourself.
Three years ago BitTorrent launched its Bundle platform. Leaning on its communication protocol to distribute data, it partnered with artists as an internet-savvy way to move music, film, and the like out into the hands of a global base the company says is 200-million strong. Headliners like Thom Yorke and the BBC tinkered along, but it’s been akin to stocking the ocean full of floating messages in a bottle—BitTorrent Now solves that lack of a central hub.
“When you give creators a platform, agency, the ability to choose their business model or film or art you can connect people and you can create ideally a more diverse and sustainable culture,” said BitTorrent VP of Creative Initiatives Straith Schreder.
Now brings an ad-supported business model for artists who use the open platform; and they likewise keep 90 percent of direct sales, as well as 70 percent of streaming revenue. Users of the app will also benefit from curation, with a home screen of recommended content, staff picks, trending projects, and playlists.
“You can shuffle through hours of electronic or hip-hop or glitch,” Schreder said.
It’s a compelling first wave of opening-day media, too. Rapper and director Yung Jake is debuting a new mixtape via Now this week. “He’s using the internet as a palette,” noted Schreder, calling his emoji portraits a “super-accessible commentary on the art of appropriation.”
Brooklyn-based band Caveman will debut a collection of B-sides via BitTorrent on Friday. Dance heroes Fool’s Gold Records are among the partner labels. We Are San Marino, a documentary about the worst soccer team in the world, is among the film selections.
“These are creators who are experimenting and represent some of the most interesting and challenging and occasionally outside voices in art,” Schreder said.
And that’s what makes Now exciting. It’s the sort of mobile platform that consumers expect—Netflix, Spotify, the like—but for the indie sect. Turns out there’s a lot of cool shit out there.
“What might be perceived to the outside world as sort of the underground is pretty massive,” Schreder said.
Correction: BitTorrent Now is only available on Android, but is coming soon to Apple TV and iOS.