MoveDigital launched a pay-as-you-go digital media distribution service this morning that includes a very easy way to turn media into torrents and mobile streams. Senator John Edwards has announced that he will use both the company’s torrent and mobile technologies in his “OneAmerica” tour. The videoblog RocketBoom will also use MoveDigital’s service to distribute its show to mobile devices. Oliver over at MobileCrunch covered the mobile tool in depth this morning.
I took a look at MoveDigital yesterday and it is remarkably easy to use. Users can upload video, for example, by file or URL and turn it into a torrent or mobile stream with a single click. A very nice web widget is offered with all the links to download in multiple formats and a display of the number of times a file has been downloaded. Only completed downloads are counted against your bandwidth. Viewers can chose to make a donation to anyone’s bandwidth, something that political campaigns using MoveDigital to distribute content may find useful.
After seeing a number of politicians begin using YouTube to distribute campaign video, I found the Edwards angle especially interesting. Will Edwards do for MoveDigital something like Howard Dean did for Meetup.com? I asked Michael Silberman, who was the National Meetup Director for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign and is now the senior strategist at consultancy EchoDitto, what he thought and he told me that with so many new technologies becoming available it’s easy for a political campaign to get distracted. “On the Dean campaign not all of the tech we developed or adopted worked, but it was always in service to a campaign need identified by the organization or by grassroots leaders,” he said. He believes that using Bittorent is a very logical way to achieve the goal of using grass roots online volunteers to distribute information. That’s largely the point of online volunteering.
I think he’s right and MoveDigital makes it easy enough to do that the combination of direct downloads, mobile streaming and torrents is likely to serve Edwards and his efforts well. Torrents themselves may still be a bit too geeky for mass adoption, but if leveraged strategically with the other technologies they could make a lot of sense.
Torrents and P2P are becoming more viable for mass adoption as an increasing number of vendors release products aimed at nontechnical audiences. In addition to MoveDigital, previously profiled companies working in this direction include Red Swoosh and Opera 9, both of which enable easy and free torrent downloads.