Moby, BitTorrent, Music Industry Team-Up

From Business Week:

MobyWhen Moby was planning the September release of Innocents, his 11th studio album, he didn’t want to simply put out another collection of danceable songs. In an innovative maneuver, he open-sourced the drum tracks, guitar parts, and keyboard riffs from each song so his followers could make their own remixes. “If someone wants to make a death metal version, that’s completely their prerogative,” Moby says.

To distribute the tracks, he turned to BitTorrent, the San Francisco-based developer of peer-to-peer file-sharing tools. Many people in the music industry are leery of BitTorrent because it’s where outlaw companies and individuals notoriously circulate pirated albums and movies. BitTorrent is striving to change its image, though. In May it launched a service called BitTorrent Bundle, which enables musicians, filmmakers, and authors to release much larger amounts of their work digitally than they could in a single download on Amazon.com or inApple’s iTunes Store.

Moby used BitTorrent Bundle to release all the tracks from Innocents, plus three additional songs and two music videos. Madonna recently used the service to distribute a movie called SecretProjectRevolution, which she appeared in and co-directed with Steven Klein. Alt-rockers Linkin Park put their new recording software in a bundle, while the hip-hop group Death Grips released one containing five tracks from its Epic Records album, The Money Store, along with an exclusive video. It’s not clear this was done with Epic’s blessing: A spokeswoman for the label says Death Grips is no longer on its roster.

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