BitTorrent Movie Site to Push Foreign Films

BitTorrent plans to open an online movie store and use foreign films and other hard-to-find video, including content from China, Japan and India, as a niche to attract users.

The service will compete with other movie download sites such as the Unbox store launched by Amazon.com and Apple Computer’s iTunes. In addition to offering mainstream movies and other video content, BitTorrent says it will offer content that users want but have a hard time finding, such as Bollywood movies and shows based on Japanese Manga comics.

"We needed a niche, so we plan to offer content no one else is using," said Ashwin Navin, president and a cofounder of BitTorrent, in an interview.

Earlier this year, the Internet company signed a deal with Warner Bros. to provide movie titles and TV shows, as well as entertainment distributors including Hart Sharp Video and Koch Entertainment Group. Through these deals, BitTorrent’s offerings will include full-length features and short films, TV shows such as The Three Stooges, documentaries such as Super Size Me, and music concerts, including "Kiss: Rock The Nation: Live!"

The service will launch in the United States by the end of this year, and could help open up the country to foreign films and TV shows. Outside of larger cities in the United States, foreign content is harder to find, requiring people to download it from the Internet.

BitTorrent will launch the service in the United Kingdom early next year and then continue to expand globally.

-IDG News Service Staff, IDG News Service (Taipei Bureau)

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