We’ve written quite a bit about BitTorrent Bundles for films such as “The Act of Killing” and “The Crash Reel”, but today the launch of Thom Yorke’s new album Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, available exclusively via BitTorrent Bundle, marks the first ever pay-gated torrent in history.
“If it works well, it could be an effective way of handing some control of internet commerce back to the people who are creating the work…enabling those people who make either music, video or any other kind of digital content to sell it themselves,” Yorke said in a statement.
Yorke’s partnership with BitTorrent also marks the launch of the BitTorrent Bundle with pay-gates, which allows artists to monetize their Bundle content directly. Fans can download the album and pay using a credit card or PayPal in 140 currencies. The publisher covers the transaction fees and BitTorrent takes 10 percent after that.
The implications for filmmakers wanting to bypass traditional distribution platforms and sell directly to fans worldwide are tremendous. Is this a sneak peek at a future in which artists control all rights to their work and market and sell their content directly to audiences?
Up until recently, the file-sharing service has been synonymous with piracy, but BitTorrent is actively working to shed that image by focusing on relationships with creators.
“One of the key motivations behind bundle product is to help people really understand and get what BitTorrent is. It’s a great technology that can really help filmmakers more than it hurts them,” BitTorrent’s Chief Content Officer Matt Mason told Indiewire earlier this year. “Filmmakers need another option other than iTunes, and Netflix and BitTorrent is definitely another option.”
To find out more about how to purchase Yorke’s album, visit BitTorrent’s blog.