BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file sharing service, has launched a new fund for artists. The Discovery Fund will offer grants of USD2,500-USD100,000 (€2,250-€89,500) for marketing and distribution support.
A recent survey found that 59 per cent of artists said getting exposure for their work is ‘the biggest challenge’ they face in their careers, a result that inspired BitTorrent to take action.
The service has come under criticism from some quarters in the past because it shares content for free, regardless of copyright ownership. However, a study by BitTorrent found that many of its users pay for content elsewhere, and actually spend more than the average person on music and film.
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke released his second solo album Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes via BitTorent in 2014. However, unlike most BitTorrent content that album had a USD6 price-tag attached.
Other artists to work with BitTorrent include comedian David Cross, hip hop pioneers De La Soul and filmmaker Lauren Wolkstein.
‘We are looking to incubate the world’s next wave of awesome, straight-up brave storytellers and outside voices,’ said BitTorrent in a press release. ‘We are looking for artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers and other creators working on uncompromised projects representing a diverse, original perspective seeking global distribution.’
Applicants must provide details of their project, along with samples of other work they have undertaken in the past. More information is available on the BitTorrent website.