(AllHipHop News) The current shifts taking place in the entertainment industry have led artists to discover innovative ways to distribute content to their supporters. BitTorrent Bundle is one of the most successful new publishing platforms being embraced by many art creators.
After a year of providing direct-to-fan releases from rap representatives like Public Enemy, Curren$y, Cam'ron, Bishop Nehru, and Azealia Banks, it is clear music lovers appreciate the opportunity to have access to more than just songs from their favorite performers. Many of the bundles also provide exclusive tour information, merchandise, and contests.
"Our long-term vision is not to be a content store, or another walled garden. Our vision is to create the technology that puts the store into the content and to let the artist decide what the exchange should be. They know best what the value of a fan is and can judge that better than we can," BitTorrent's Vice President of Marketing Matt Mason relayed to AllHipHop.com in 2013. "Our job is to create the best possible tools for creative people, and then get out-of-the-way of them and their fans."
BitTorrent is a community of 170 million fans, and 89% of those users return each month for other offers. More importantly, 90% of sales revenue goes directly to the artist. According to the company, 12.5 million BitTorrent Bundle digital box sets were downloaded this year. Projects by De La Soul, G-Eazy, and Ace Hood were among the most downloaded bundles in 2014.
"To me I saw it as an opportunity to do something new and gain a new fan base,” Ace Hood told AllHipHop.com about his "Best of Starvation Bundle." “It’s an opportunity to expand my brand and get my music out to the masses in a different way.”
[ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Ace Hood Talks “Starvation” Bundle, “Everyday” Remix Contest & Collabing With Skepta]
Last year, Curren$y's "Jet Life Bundle" was downloaded over 4 million times in its first four months of release. The Jets also reported that after dropping the Bundle the sale of apparel on their website increased by 500% and advanced ticket sales for their tour went up by 30%.
"Music fans have changed in recent years. New material has a shorter shelf life, and fans have a shorter attention span," stated Jet Life manager Mousa Hamdan. "You have to keep coming out with new music and new content to keep them coming back. You have to constantly be thinking about new ways to drop content, and new ways to reach listeners."
Ohio rapper Dub-O of Machine Gun Kelly’s EST 19XX label released his own "Old Lights, New Lights Bundle" in July. Speaking with AllHipHop.com at the time, Dub explained why he jumped on the chance to work with BitTorrent.
"When you do stuff like the bundle package [the fans] feel special. There’s a big, big difference when you’re interactive with your fans, so I try to be as much as I can," said Dub-O. "I don’t think too many artists are doing things like that. They’re just dropping a mixtape like, ‘Here you go fans.’ But when you put sprinkles on that cupcake, they appreciate that more and keeps them more involved with you.”
Beside individual artists using BitTorrent Bundles to offer fans special incentives, labels such as Mad Decent and Fool's Gold distributed compilations on the platform as well. Even filmmakers used the site to distribute their art. Over 10 million social justice and advocacy documentaries were accessed via BitTorrent Bundle.