For the past several years, peer-to-peer software BitTorrent has worked overtime to provide ways for artists to monetize their art past the company's dark beginnings in being a door for illegal downloads.
“We want to give creators options and not rules,” explained BitTorrent’s VP of Creative Initiatives Straith Schreder.
From the ability to share work in exchange for emails or sell work directly, MCs ranging fromLittle Simz to Curren$y have utilized the BitTorrent Bundle service for connecting with fans. Hell, Ratking’s 700 Fill managed to rack in 2.1 million downloads since dropping last year. If any genre could benefit from the platform, company VP of Marketing Christian Averill says it’s most definitely Hip Hop.
“One of the biggest drivers has been the Hip Hop community,” said Averill. “It’s a really important segment for us.”
Taking things to another level and placing their hats in the music streaming wars, they’ve announced BitTorrent Now, a service and upcoming app available for iOS and Android. According to Schreder, the platform will see 70 percent of ad revenue going back to creators.
“It’s about giving artists the flexibility for their business model,” said Schreder. “That kind of freedom is super important. Be it 90 percent of transaction or 70 percent of revenue through streaming or 100 percent of data access. It’s what helps build a sustainable distribution system.”
Besides the multiple options for getting one's music out there, BitTorrent doesn’t use music aggregators like Spotify or Apple Music. According to Schreder, uploading music is similar to setting up a Facebook page and a part of the functionality built in.
“It’s an open platform and super user-friendly,” she said. “Upload your music with the description and project and hit publish. This is a solution that should work for everybody and not just the one percent or people who are super technical.”
Today, Yung Jake is releasing is his debut mixtape USB through BitTorrent. Called by Complexan individual who is “rewriting the rules for what it means to make waves in the 21st century,” he’s built a loyal following through his digital-based art that extended to music while being way below the radar.
“I believe the art should fit the platform perfectly so if it requires going beyond what generally expected,” he said in his preferred communication method of text message. “It’s cool cause I feel like all the right people know of me and want to work with me so I get to meet cool people but can be low-key.”