Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group announced a groundbreaking agreement with BitTorrent Inc. to leverage the company's peer-assisted delivery system for the electronic sell through of motion picture and television content in the United States. With this announcement, Warner Bros. becomes the first major studio to provide legal video content via the BitTorrent publishing platform.
The announcement follows BitTorrent's agreement with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to prevent film piracy and promote innovation in online digital distribution of content. Content published with BitTorrent will be available on the BitTorrent.com website and feature downloadable programming. The distribution channel will leverage BitTorrent's revolutionary "file-swarming" technology, which enables the transfer of massive files from a website to a PC with the speed and bandwidth efficiency of peer-assisted transfers. This new method of delivery is the first peer-assisted network in the U.S. that combines guaranteed availability, high-quality video and rapid download rates.
"The technology behind BitTorrent is elegantly designed for the delivery of large files like TV programs and films. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group was established to provide innovative, next-generation distribution models and this relationship provides our company with a unique platform to reach a new set of movie fans," said Kevin Tsujihara, President Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. "BitTorrent has made the leap in creating a legal partnership that respects the value of the intellectual property. This has provided us with a next-generation platform for the distribution of our films and TV programs."
BitTorrent will provide the first peer-assisted technology platform to offer U.S. consumers legal content on both a video-on-demand (VOD) and electronic sell through (EST) basis, day-and-date with the DVD release.
The service is intended to launch in summer of 2006 and will initially feature more than 200 Warner Bros. new releases, catalog favorites and television series. Featured titles to be initially offered will include newer releases such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Tim Burton\'s Corpse Bride, The Dukes of Hazzard, North Country, and Rumor Has It, as well as library titles such as The Matrix, Dog Day Afternoon, Natural Born Killers, and National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation. TV programming will include shows such as Babylon 5 and Dukes of Hazzard.
"BitTorrent is the ideal platform to publish high-quality content on the Internet. By combining Warner Bros.' popular video content with BitTorrent's proven delivery efficiency, consumers will have an unparalleled way to experience entertainment online," said Ashwin Navin, President and Co-founder of BitTorrent. "As developers of the leading peer-assisted protocol, we're pleased to be working with Warner Bros., an industry innovator with the largest library of motion pictures, to bring our millions of users entertainment at the click of a mouse."
BitTorrent was designed in 2001 to be an effective publication tool for large files on the Web. With the launch of BitTorrent's search engine in 2005, BitTorrent.com became a place for publishers to showcase their content and consumers to find and download content in one convenient location. BitTorrent continues to work with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to remove copyright infringing content from its search results and is working with studios to replace that content, to provide a secure, legal venue for consumers. With integrated monetization for paid and ad-supported content, the forthcoming BitTorrent service will be an ideal platform for the online distribution of popular video.
"Warner Bros. is in the business of making its movies and TV shows available to as wide an audience as possible. The launch of a legal BitTorrent online video service allows us to extend our reach to places our content would not ordinarily be found legally and opens up new opportunities. Entering into agreements such as this to distribute our content is not only a better way to reach existing and new customers but a reflection of the critical role distribution technologies play in the future of the entertainment industry," said Darcy Antonellis, Executive Vice President, Distribution Technology and Operations, Warner Bros. Technical Operations.