Many of us know BitTorrent as the online sharing platform.
It allows users to share, legally and illegally, small amounts of data, with another user who has installed the program.
But this data usually accumulates too many gigs worth of information, for anyone internet user.
In most cases, users share music, movies and TV show files on torrent sites. BitTorrent’s existence peeved Hollywood, film producers and music executives all over the world, for many years.
Theatre goers went to movie screenings and recorded films using their phones.
These substandard and unregulated versions of the film would then circulate via the internet.
They traveled around the world, long before the movie companies have reached the theatres in these places.
The popular opinion is that torrent platforms such as BitTorrent and Utorrent cost these industries billions of dollars in potential revenue.
Millions of people viewed the films, made a judgment and often determined not to watch them in theatres.
One can presume that it is for this reason that streaming companies built their business model and followed this trend without breaking any laws, namely Netflix, Hulu, YouTube Red and Amazon Prime.
They released that there was an untapped billion dollar niche.
But, despite the consequences and despite the myriad of grievance from the corporate world, torrent platforms are world-renowned.
BitTorrent’s Active Users
BitTorrent is an industry leader and it won’t be denied.
It has millions of users, far more than many social networks and telecommunication companies ever hope to have.
This file sharing platform is very popular.
Every month more than 100 million users login to BitTorrent. Because of this, BitTorrent far outranks other similar websites such as Netflix and Hulu.
Netflix has almost 17 million while Hulu has only 30 million subscribers.
When compared to YouTube and iTunes, the platform has half of their numbers and as many as Facebook and Yahoo put together.
Eric Klinker, CEO of BitTorrent, states that the company has a “massive digital audience.”
Regardless of whether the other services are free or paid, users are choosing to use torrents over other platforms.
The platform is progressive in gaining consistent active users.
BitTorrent: Making its Own Internet Rules
This company changed internet protocols to suit its business model.
This started when they saw a decrease in peak hour access in 2013, by six percent from the figures of 2011.
It was around this time that “net neutrality” was rearing its ugly head.
Telecommunications and internet service providers denied users access to torrent web traffic.
This happened because there were hundreds of millions of requests, going through their servers every night, between 7:00 and 11:00 o’clock.
They said it affected the bandwidth of other internet users on their system.
Lawmakers were out for blood.
Angry internet users complained about mediocre internet speeds and internet providers weren’t budging.
It was the “perfect storm” for BitTorrent during those days.
How could they fight the policymakers on Capitol Hill?
They had no experience of dealing with the savvy politicians in Washington D.C.
What they had, were brilliant technological minds that were working on a solution.
24/7 they were trying to figure out, by what means could they minimize the effects on web traffic? How could they resolve this technologically?
Shortly after, they came up with Micro Transport Protocol (uTP).
This protocol allowed web traffic to fix itself in a way that would not influence download or upload speeds. It worked the opposite of TCP/IP.
The new changes increased BitTorrents monthly user numbers and how their systems downloaded files.
With the new solution implemented, both BitTorrent and their users benefitted. This was a great return on investment.
They demonstrated how technology could be used to find a solution to existing problems while bypassing Congress and the demeaning “red tape” to get things down.
The Future of BitTorrent
Now the company is continuing with their innovative trends and exploring
They teamed up with director David Cross and released his show “HITS” in a pay-what-you-want (PWYW) model.
The PWYW Bundle is offered to BitTorrent users and they had access to see the first wide release of any film, via a torrent site. PWYW continues to be an avenue that sells and distributes multimedia content and music albums.
The once-beleaguered relationship between BitTorrent and Hollywood is dwindling. They have struck new ground and found ways to work together amicably.
BitTorrent partners with Hollywood production companies to release extended trailers and feature-length films like “HITS” which is guarded behind a ‘gate’. Once the user pays, they are given full access to the content. Apart from a 10% operational cost, license holders get all the revenue from the sale.
So long as there is a need for streaming large content files online, BitTorrent is going nowhere and its 170 million active monthly users is making sure of that.