BiTorrent video store launches Monday
The store will feature about 3,000 movies at launch, and several thousand television episodes. There'll also be about 1,000 video games, and 1,000 music videos.
TV shows will sell for $1.99 per episode, which seems to be the going rate. You'll be able to rent movies, but not buy them, with new releases, including Superman Returns renting for $3.99, and older titles costing $2.99. Apparently BitTorrent has permission to sell feature length films, but decided against it after seeing how much the studios wanted to charge users for those films.
The videos will play in Windows Media Player 11 and include Microsoft DRM. That poses a few problems for the new service. First, it means that videos will only be available on Windows computers. Second, while companies like Amazon or Apple are well known companies that have begun offering consumers a chance to download videos in the last few years, BitTorrent is only really a big name among those who are used to using the technology to download videos for free.
If you have a choice of using the BitTorrent Entertainment Network to download a video that you can only watch on one Windows-based PC for a limited time, and you have to pay $3.99 for it, or turning to an alternative torrent network that will allow you to download the same video for free and without any DRM, which would you choose? Because I don't think it's fair to say that BitTorrent is in the same league as Amazon, Microsoft, or Apple at this point. I think the company's main competition will be piracy.