The BitTorrent Bundle: a new pay-what-you-want digital distribution scheme
Pay what you want sales are quite popular on today's Internet. You may know them from app and game bundle sales where you may pay as much - or little - as you want to get your hands on a selection of apps or games for your system.
The BitTorrent Bundle uses a similar scheme but with the core difference that you can download all media without paying anything for them as BitTorrent Inc. has not set a minimum payment ($0.01) for the products on offer.
Some users will certainly take advantage of that and download all books, videos and music albums without making a payment to the authors or rights-holders, but if the past has shown anything, it is likely that many users will make a payment.
Some may download media for free first to find out if they appreciate it to come back later to the site to spend money on the product that they have already downloaded.
A list of thumbnails is displayed to you when you visit the official website. Each thumbnail represents a band, author or content creator. You can click on a thumbnail to find out more about the offer and access download links.
Download links are displayed for all offers included on the bundle website, while some suggest you support the artist by pre-ordering or buying the product.
A click on BitTorrent Download saves a torrent file to your system that you can load into your torrent client of choice to download the selected product to your local system.
You can hit the what's inside link to find out more about what is being offered to you. Some products may only be offered as a preview, as is the case with the 4-Hour Chef book. You only get access to part of the book and a couple of additional recipes and notes. Other products are available fully though for you to download and use.
So what's BitTorrent Inc. hoping to achieve here? The company has been hard at work to improve the public perception of BitTorrent, to move it away from a system used by pirates to a distribution system used for legitimate purposes.
If things go as planned, it could open up a new revenue stream by opening a BitTorrent powered store based that uses the same or slightly adjusted mechanics depending on how many users decide to pay money for the products.
It could become an interesting option for artists and content creators to self-distribute their works on the Internet. (via Lifehacker)
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