Peer-to-peer file sharing service BitTorrent suddenly shuttered its BitTorrent Now streaming service, closed its Los Angeles production office and unceremoniously let go of its co-CEOs, Robert Delamar and Jeremy Johnson, Variety reports.
An unknown number of staffers are being laid off as well, the publication reported. Delamar and Johnson are also no longer on the board of directors.
Chief Financial Officer Dipak Joshi will take the reins in the interim.
According to unnamed inside sources speaking to Variety, spending on BitTorrent Now was “out of control,” somewhere in the millions of dollars.
BitTorrent execs were negotiating deals with independent artists for music and video content to stream on the ad-supported Now service, while their L.A. production studio would be a base for its own media creation and distribution efforts.
In May at INTX, BitTorrent showed off its then-pending streaming service. It was also touting near-simultaneous live-streaming and broadcast capabilities at the time, saying that the peer-to-peer based protocol "allows for large audiences to view live video with sub 10-second latency and without the need for an expensive CDN or pre-provisioning.”
BitTorrent Now officially launched in June on Android devices, and in July added support for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.
It appears to be something of a setback for BitTorrent, which has spent the past few years distancing itself from its reputation as a site that facilitates media piracy, instead building its BitTorrent Bundle network, which serves as a platform for independent musicians and artists to showcase their work.
- see this Variety article
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