BitTorrent has entered into an exclusive partnership with Marco Weber’s Rapid Eye Studios to identify, produce, and distribute original video content for the BitTorrent Bundle platform, to be known as BitTorrent Originals. The first-run video content will debut exclusively on the platform for 30-60 days reaching BitTorrent’s 170 million monthly users, after which it will come available through other distribution channels.
A BitTorrent Original will receive marketing support and a 90/10 split in favor of the content creator, who has the option of a paid or ad-supported model.
The first project is Children Of The Machine, a pilot that was unveiled last year, a sci-fi tale of young adulthood on earth after a major tech upheaval. Production begins in the spring on eight hourlong episodes being produced by Weber (Igby Goes Down) and Jeff Stockwell (The Dangerous Lives Of Altar Boys), with a late-year ad-supported launch planned. In addition, a premium version for $9.95 will be available — the same feature Radiohead’s Thom Yorke used to self-distribute his Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, which has been downloaded 4.5M times since its September launch.
“When I approached Eric, Matt and the Bundle team with the concept for BitTorrent Originals, they immediately signed on,” Weber said. “Once we started approaching major brands and advertisers with the series, the response was incredible. They were incredibly intrigued by the outlook of reaching an audience of 60-80 million fans per show in the most attractive demographic. The young and rebellious image of the brand certainly helped.”
More BitTorrent Originals will be revealed in the coming months. Matt Mason, BitTorrent’s chief content officer, and part of his team will relocate from San Francisco to LA to work with the Rapid Eye team. Next up is securing sponsorships, advertising and brand integration.
North American rights outside the BitTorrent window will be shopped by Paradigm, which reps Weber and Rapid Eye. Stockwell is repped by UTA and Kaplan Perrone.