BitTorrent Entertainment Network To Get Ad-Supported Downloads

Zeropaidlogo, a website that tracks news in the file sharing and P2P community did a write up yesterday on a deal that BitTorrent announced with YuMe Networks. The joint agreement calls for BitTorrent to use the new YuMe advertising network to insert advertising within videos available for download from the BitTorrent network.

Some industry observers are saying that this will have a big impact on content models as to date, all downloaded content is either free or only monetized via pay per view. This idea has me confused as does portions of this announcement and as anyone who knows me will tell you, I am always skeptical when a press release says its product or service is "game-changing", "First-Ever", "taking online video advertising to another level," and "never before been available".

For starters, how are the ads being inserted? Once I download a video, can the ad be updated or changed? And part of the big draw of the new ad network in YuMe’s eyes is that they say they can track “view-throughs” rather than “click-throughs”. But if I download a video, and then take it with me on a plane on my MacBook, and have no connection to the Internet, how is YuMe tracking anything?

YuMe is quoted as saying, "What we’re saying is that video streaming is a fundamentally different thing. You need to do it cross-platform and you should be able to take a video ad, associate it with a set of content and demographics and allow the advertiser to associate that regardless of where the content is being watched — be it the Web, a mobile phone or a BitTorrent download — and aggregate the reporting all across that."

I disagree. It’s no different than the ad model that the content owners are trying to get to work when it comes to streaming videos online. The fact that YuMe will insert an ad into a downloaded video as opposed to one that streams really does not change the monetization. In order for a major media content owner to give away the content as opposed to a pay per view model, how many eyeballs and downloads are they going to need to get before the advertising model will work?

We are a long way off from the point of where major content owners are going to give away their content because they have been able to monetize it via advertising. Yes, the potential exists, but not anytime soon until some of the major business and technical hurdles get solved.