The Inside Story of BitTorrent’s Bizarre Collapse
Jessi Hempel
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BitTorrent has an image problem(or branding; depends on your philosophy).

Three failed attempts to carry BitTorrent into the legal world of entertainment are no surprise from a marketing point of view. Because the storyline you try to sell after more than ten years reads like:

Hi, we are the guys and gals whose open source BitTorrent protocol has caused you millions of losses through illegal sharing and re-distribution and now have a business model where you and us will make money together.

The BitTorrent technology stands for illegal sharing and distribution of copyrighted content. Wherever you go with the name BitTorrent you are sure to meet the negative image people have — unless they prosper or save through illegal content sharing or have a legal use for the technology!

From a marketing point of view there is no need to call the company like the open source protocol. Instead some re-naming and re-branding seems advisable! From a management point of view it also makes sense to separate research and development (they seem to have really great coders there) into “BitTorrentLabs” within a newly branded holding structure.

From there you either sell licenses or a technology to others or you set up a bootstrapped start-up for any business model you believe to have a future based on your technology and eventually with VC money as back-up.

With the built-in audience Facebook Live has, I don’t know how much use BitTorrent Live broadcasting will find. I doubt it will be enough to earn them money (how?).

I believe to recall a headline about secure P2P chat by BitTorrent. In an era where “ChatApps” like WeChat let you buy things, hire a taxi or do banking, a chat App can only be sold to Wall Street, i.e. Snapchat. Not BitTorrent though! Their image is one of people losing money.

Any attempt to build a money-making business model for the mass-market comes down to an image problem tied to the name BitTorrent. So drop it everywhere where it is not needed and where it survives make it subordinate in an organizational structure with a storyline people can not only believe in, but one which does not have to fight the image of being a loss-creator!


P.S.: How hard or easy would but be to technically unite BitTorrent and Blockchain technology in a process?