The company behind BitTorrent, a name usually associated with peer-to-peer file sharing — and by extension, sometimes with internet piracy — is all set to launch a news network, it announced on its blog Wednesday.
The San Francisco-based BitTorrent Inc., the main player responsible for the ongoing development of the BitTorrent protocol, opened its own TV production studio early last year and also began a live-streaming service in June that offered music and videos. The announcement of a news network, however, is perhaps its boldest move yet.
On its blog, this is how Erik Schwartz, vice president of media for BitTorrent, explained the move: “Television news has been stagnating for some time. It’s having trouble appealing to a generation that grew up online. We’re building BitTorrent News to solve that problem. We are using superior data and tools and the Silicon Valley ethos of lean startup to build a nimble news organization that will learn quickly from user behavior.”
The company adds that its network “has a distinct advantage when scaling rapidly to large audiences in real-time without the need for expensive pre-provisioning, a near impossible feat during a rapidly developing news situation.”
Its claims will be put to test soon enough when it launches on July 18, a date designed to coincide with the start of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The network has put together a team headed by Harrison Bohrman, a former CNN producer, and that includes journalists from Al Jazeera, Fox News and others.
BitTorrent News will also cover the Democratic National Convention that will kick off on July 25 in Philadelphia. Besides the election, other areas will include “the worlds of action and alternative sports. Those segments will empower progressive athletes from outside the mainstream to tell their stories directly.”
The live-streaming network will be available on the company’s BitTorrent Live platform, which is currently available only on Apple TV and OS X. The company says it will launch it for other devices soon. Like typical BitTorrent files, the live-streaming service will also use the peer-to-peer network for distribution.