Looks like the established folks like
Wal-Mart, Blockbuster, and Time Warner aren’t the only folks looking to dance with downloadable movies. Upstart BitTorrent, the company behind the technology that enables fast file sharing the world over has struck a deal with a number of film and TV companies to provide downloadable video. We reported on a deal between
BT and WB earlier this year, but
the details of the new agreement add to that Fox, MTV (and its subsidiaries like Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, SpikeTV, etc.), Paramount, and Lions Gate, and others.
BitTorrent has one thing going for it that many of the other players seem to lack: an understanding of the technology required to deliver a great deal of data fast . The big question will be compatibility and DRM. The press release had this to say:
The videos, which can be downloaded and viewed on a PC, laptop and other portable devices, include new film releases day-and-date with the DVD release, popular TV series, deep catalog titles and cult classics. One exception is Palm Pictures, as they plan to be the first studio to utilize the BitTorrent platform to release full-length feature films before the theatrical and DVD release dates. Most film titles will be available for purchase on a Download-to-Own (DTO) basis or for rent on a Video-on-Demand (VOD) basis, while TV content will be available for DTO only.
While their roster is impressive, the presumed lack of integration with the most popular handheld device, the iPod, and an absence of end-to-end integration will probably hurt them. Still, this market is exploding around us.