Using P2P & YouTube To Promote New TV Shows | The Networks Decide They Want In

1 min read

BitTorrent LogoPeer To Peer networks and BitTorrent have always gone hand in hand with piracy, with many such services used for swapping copyrighted material illegally between users.

YouTube has also been cited as a source for piracy, with clips of many copyrighted shows being uploaded to the site, and not discovered until potentially millions of people have viewed them.

However, none of these services are completely devoid of usefulness to copyright holders, and it seems some are now finally realising the potential for using these kinds of distribution channels for their own ends.

BitTorrent Experiment

At the beginning of March, we heard from Eirik Solheim about how the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation and NRK distributed an already aired television programme using BitTorrent.

The experiment resulted in a popular show being seen by many thousands more people than it would have otherwise been, and in many other countries than it was originally shown, and it was all above board, legal, and with permission of the copyright holders.

Then, less than a month later, the Canadian television network CBC decided to copy the idea after seeing how successful the Norwegians had found it. They chose to distribute a show completely over the BitTorrent peer-to-peer network.

American Networks Following Suit

Now, according to NewTeeVee, the American networks are getting in on the act, with many choosing to spread episodes of new and old shows across file-sharing networks in an attempt to get us all hooked on them when they arrive on traditional TV.

Particular attention is placed on Spike TV’s new show, Factory, which was promoted using the Limewire file-sharing network. Limewire was a bad choice, but it does at least prove the worthiness of such an effort.

The article then lists five ways in which networks can ensure their shows get distributed well across P2P, including choosing the right network, being a good seeder, and utilizing file-sharing blogs.

YouTube Used For Publicity

And lest we forget YouTube, which is now being used by shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live to actively promote the show. Instead of rallying against the clip sharing, they are embracing it as a form of publicity.

This trend is sure to increase in popularity from now on as television networks and programme makers cotton on to the idea that the technology being used by pirates can also be used to their advantage. I just wonder why it took them so long to figure it out in the first place.