Just a few days ago, we opened up BitTorrent Bundle to our first wave of artist collaborations. (Welcome, guys!) This project marks the start of something big: digital publishing by, and for, the people.
But it also marks the culmination of a lot of work out there, online. For over a year, we’ve been partnering with artists and fans on a series of experiments in content sustainability. Bundle is the end of 365+ days of research. And it’s also the beginning. As we start to open up the Alpha to test publishers, we wanted to take some time to talk about Bundles: how to build them, how to hack content marketing, and how to build a promotional plan that gets people to kick in.
But before all that:
Does the Internet really need another publishing platform?
We upload videos to YouTube. We share music on SoundCloud. You can crowdfund your passion project on Kickstarter. Anyone can be an author on Amazon. This is an awesome time to be an artist. And these are awesome tools. Bundle isn’t designed to replace these outlets. It’s designed to be complementary to them: to give creators new options, where before, there were walls.
Because your fans are yours. Period.
We built Bundle to shift access to audiences back into the hands of artists. Your fans subscribe to you. Not the platform. Distribute what you want. Workshop material with listeners. Build your own mailing list. And own your own data. There are people out there waiting to hear from you. How you engage them is up to you. Not us.
Because there should never be size caps or file constraints on creativity.
We’re told that the thing that makes or breaks artists is marketing. Better marketing, though, is better storytelling. That’s what Bundle is designed to do: to help you tell better stories.
Because if you’re a filmmaker, you’re also a writer, and a designer, and a photographer. And inevitably, what went into your last short was more than what we saw between opening and closing credits. Your right to tell us the true story, the back story, the whole story, is non-negotiable. And this story can, and should be, one interaction. A single download. As many megabytes as it takes. As many files as you want.
Because sharing should add value. Not take it away.
Bundle was built to be a social object: a format that goes with the grain of the Internet. With Bundle, you don’t need to take people outside of the content that they’re enjoying to send them to a digital storefront. You can put purchase-directs inside the download itself. Or, you can create an email gate that travels with the Bundle link. As humans, our instinct is to share stuff. So media that becomes more valuable each time its shared is actually a pretty powerful thing.
The Bundle Alpha is part of a bigger project (and a bigger conversation) about how content should work online. Sign up to join our early test group. Send ideas our way. The future of digital creativity belongs to all of us. We think a better one can begin here.