This week’s talk about usage-based billing has been a bit of a deja vu for BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker, who thinks the solution isn’t to charge or slow down customers. Instead, he believes smart technology can solve our problems and save the Internet in the process.
Whither BitTorrent? The company is picking itself up and putting itself back together after recent exec departures and layoffs. And it has finally shed its consumer business, the download store that had helped kicked off Hollywood’s last few years of digital dealmaking, but never did much after that.
We just got off the phone with BitTorrent VP of Marketing Simon Morris, who filled us in on the company’s changing strategy, as well as the recent hubbub about it moving away from a TCP-based P2P protocol to one that would interfere with VoIP and other activity. Morris said that following the company’s multiple rounds of layoffs, BitTorrent is now “in safe shape” to move forward. A lightly edited transcript follows.
NewTeeVee: So, I saw that the Torrent Entertainment Network is no longer up. When did that shut down?
Simon Morris: I think it was Nov. 17, a little over two weeks ago.
NewTeeVee: Was that due to lack of use?
Morris: It was due to two things. We found it very hard to make it a profitable business endeavor. If you look at the things we’re trying to do as we shrink down the company due to the economic environment, we’re experts in content delivery over the internet. With the Torrent Entertainment Network we were stepping into a new domain of merchandising of consumer entertainment products. In many ways, the retrenchment of the company has been really focusing on what we’re good at.