BitTorrent, the P2P network with 170 million users that has been building out a business as the go-to platform for writers, musicians and other media creators to share their content with each other and with their fans, is today taking a step to raise its profile with mainstream users. It’s announcing a deal with Madonna that will see the singer put her latest project, a film she co-directed with Steven Klein called secretprojectrevolution, in a BitTorrent Bundle, along with other content that includes film stills and an interview with Eddy Morretti of Vice, which collaborated with Madonna on the project. The bundle goes lives on the 24th of this month.
To be clear, Madonna has not gone so far as to post her music in a BitTorrent Bundle; that, perhaps, remains too valuable and more easily monetizable for the star and her label. But even so, considering her profile and millions of diehard fans, it’s the biggest name yet that BitTorrent has pulled in it is bid to build out its network and become a name synonymous with legit content with consumers.
Last week, BitTorrent also opened up Bundle model — a content format that lets creators offer music, texts, video or whatever media free, or with an email gate, or a freemium/paywall service with partial access — in alpha for wider use. Up to now, these bundles have been coordinated by BitTorrent itself and have been focused on premium content, with past bundles including content from author Tim Ferriss and musicians the Pixies and Linkin Park, among others.
As with other Bundles that have been released up to now, the idea behind Madonna’s will be to provide supplementary promotion along other distribution channels. In this case, that will be to kick off Art for Freedom, a bigger initiative Madonna is leading to promote the idea of freedom of expression. BitTorrent will help power that bigger project, with people able to upload original artwork in the form of video, music, photography and poetry “to express their personal meaning of freedom and revolution,” BitTorrent’s Matt Mason notes.
The film is Madonna’s way of leading by example, she says. “My goal is to show by the example of secretprojectrevolution my creative commitment to inspire change in the world through artistic expression. I hope my film and other submissions to Art For Freedom will be a call-to-action and give people a place to voice their own creative expression to help fight oppression, intolerance and complacency,” she said in a statement.