BitTorrent – this name is associated mainly with illegal content distributed over the Internet. However, this protocol is used also for legal files sharing (e.g. Linux distributions). This protocol is great, because it decreases the load and the link usage of sharing servers.
This gain is achieved thanks to the approach that each shared file is divided into pieces which you can download from other users. The user does not have to download the whole file in order to upload its fragments. The idea is that the server (i.e. tracker) knows who has which parts of the file and this information is downloaded by users from the server. This protocol provides very fast download speeds, because the file is downloaded from several users at the same time. Therefore, BitTorrent is the most popular peer-2-peer protocol.
New service, called BitTorrent Now is used to share (or rather to stream) legal music and movies (also for free).
How does it work? This may look similar to Netflix and Spotify, but the content is completely different. BitTorrent Now offers music and video uploaded by independent artists. The idea is that you can view/listen this content by free but you have to watch/listen advertisements. You can also get rid of the ads by paying for the content. Very interesting is the fact that 70% profits from the ads will be transferred to artists. They will also get 90% profits from paid content.
BitTorrent Now has published its application for Android, however the app for iOS and AppleTV will be available soon.