Soon you will be getting TV News Channel ‘BitTorrent News’ on BitTorrent’s streaming service
If you a torrent lover, you may soon get to watch news on BitTorrent. If everything goes to plan, BitTorrent is looking to emulate main stream media by incorporating a news channel into its streaming platform.
According to a report from Variety, BitTorrent is looking to expand its live streaming offerings by launching a TV news network “BitTorrent News” ahead of the U.S. presidential election. The network’s journalistic efforts will be based out of San Francisco, with “a worldwide network of stringers” helping operations. The news network is expected to be an expansion of the OTT News app the company released for Apple TV, iOS and Android earlier this year, as well as its BitTorrent Live offerings.
BitTorrent seems to be serious about peer-to-peer news. The San Francisco-based peer-to-peer company’s in-house network is currently hiring a News Director and a team of journalists to round out the offering.
“If you had a blank slate to start a live-streaming TV news network, what would you build,” a recently published job posting asks. “BitTorrent has recently launched a live video streaming platform. Now we need a team to create a tent-pole live news channel to run on it.”
The network will run across BitTorrent Live, a P2P-powered live service video, which was announced in May. The service has yet to launch, but when it does it will provide a smattering of channels (at least 13) with both free and paid-for tiers.
BitTorrent Live VP of Media Erik Schwartz told Variety that the company also aims to get bigger cable networks on board, and offer paid subscriptions as early as this summer. “The goal is to really build a virtual MVPD,” he said.
While the launch date has not been announced, the company is now lining up its programming partners, which includes SPI International, as well as other partners.
“Powered by our proprietary and patented peer-to-peer live streaming protocol, BitTorrent Live allows for large audiences to view live video with sub 10-second latency and without the need for an expensive CDN or pre-provisioning. With BitTorrent Live, every viewer is also a broadcaster. This allows the video stream to remain strong and for the broadcast to be as scalable as traditional Over-the-Air TV.”
“Last year Bob Bowman (head of MLBAM) told Walt Mossberg in regards to the difficulty of large-scale live video streaming of sports, declaring, ‘Is that a business model or is that a stunt? I don’t know?’ Well, BitTorrent Live is the platform that can turn large-scale live streaming into a business model,” said Erik.
The clue is in the name about how the channels broadcast. BitTorrent Live will use the company’s patented peer-to-peer live streaming system. It is similar to how files download over BitTorrent, where home computers pass on chunks of files to other computers, rather than every computer downloading from a single central server.
The network may not initially rival the likes of BBC and CNN, anytime soon. We’re building a lean team to start, and early on we expect everyone will wear many hats,” the job posting reads. The network may also not broadcast 24/7, but instead focus its coverage on breaking news events, including “political campaigns, sporting events, tech and cultural events.”
BitTorrent’s plans for a news network come on the heels of a restructuring that targets to refocus the company on the media business. Earlier this month, Variety also reported BitTorrent had announced the spin off its enterprise file sharing tool Sync into a new company dubbed Resilio, led by BitTorrent’s own former CEO Eric Klinker.