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Summary:

Want to give your new TV show a big promotional push? Forget about those promo DVDs in Entertainment Weekly, nobody watches them. P2P is where it’s at for a new generation of TV viewers. At least that appears to have been the rationale of a WB […]

Want to give your new TV show a big promotional push? Forget about those promo DVDs in Entertainment Weekly, nobody watches them. P2P is where it’s at for a new generation of TV viewers. At least that appears to have been the rationale of a WB TV employee who recently claimed that he helped to leak the pilot of the network’s new production, “Pushing Daisies,” onto various Torrent Web sites.

Actually, he didn’t do the whole thing by himself. His neighbor’s kid helped him out. Unfortunately, not everyone has such helpful neighbors, which is why it might be time for a quick P2P primer for network executives: Want to make your show popular with the fifty or so million Americans who use P2P networks? Go ahead – but keep a few things in mind.


Call off the lawyers. Your company probably employs folks who scour P2P networks and online video sites for copies of your shows in order to send out take-down notices and sue uploaders. Give them some time off to cure their bleeding eyes. People tend to get really annoyed when they find out they’re getting sued by the company they are helping with a viral marketing campaign.

On second thought, don’t call the lawyers. They will most certainly tell you that what you are about to do is illegal and that it will cost you your job. And they might be right.

Learn the lingo, but don’t overdo it. There is nothing more embarrassing than a forty-something who pretends to be a teenager. Make yourself familiar with the basics of online piracy. Crunchgear recently wrote up a great introduction. Then use what you’ve learned, but don’t go over the top. One example: Convert your video file to the pirate’s preferred file format XviD, but please don’t call it Greatshow-XviD-REpACK-PRERELEASE-ExClUs1v3-RARE-ORIGInAL-DVDRiP.avi

Get close to the fountain. Online piracy is like a river. You start with a small drizzle and end up with a huge ocean. Films and shows typically get distributed on internal servers first, then find their way to chat rooms and Usenet servers, then to private Torrent sites and eventually to the Pirate Bays of the world. Make use of the viral nature of this pyramid by getting as close to the top as possible. You probably won’t get access to any private FTP servers, but you can try to leak your show via Usenet.

Hook up with the enemy. Most movies and TV shows are leaked onto P2P networks by organized release groups. These groups are the backbone of Internet piracy, and they are in a constant cat-and-mouse game with law enforcement officials. Don’t expect them to have an official Web site with a contact form. Some of the groups do, however, list e-mail addresses in their NFO files – kind of like the credits of the P2P world.

Hire a professional. Does all that still sound too complicated? You could always recruit some help. Some of the companies who hunt down uploaders have also started to distribute promotional downloads through P2P networks. The problem is, those companies are expensive, and they want to have proper paperwork. That’s where the lawyers creep back into the picture.

Maybe you should just take another good look at your neighborhood. Chances are the teenage kid next door is swapping files right now. He just might not tell you about it. After all, you tend to call people like him criminals, remember? But I’m sure you can win his trust. A few unreleased episodes every now and then should do the trick for both of you.

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  1. Hi Janko,

    You Article is bang on the target, there is a Metrics firms located in the bay area which is helping Television networks and content producers by providing metrics and analytics for such non-traditional platforms (BitTorrent being one of many such platforms).

    You can refer to http://divinityMetrics.com for more information.

  2. vaspers the grate aka steven e. streight Sunday, August 12, 2007

    Interesting. P2P is the new distribution channel and smart artists will learn how to use these tools to gain buzz.

    My theory is that Free leads to Paid. Tons of free stuff will get users hooked on you, then you can start charging for premium, upgrade, custom, special products.

    There is too much video and music entertainment. The only way to get known is to get your stuff out there, unprotected for non-commercial use, and get people craving more, more at whatever price.

    I have downloaded several CDs worth of God Speed You Black Emperor music on Live Archives. Then, when I saw a GSYBE recording, a CD, at Barnes & Noble, I paid for it. Why? Because the CD probably sounds better than the free mp3s, and because I am avid collector of their music now.

    The free material caused me to desire more, whether free or paid.

    I think this is how it works for anyone.

    RIAA and MPAA are evil and stupid greedy shit.

  3. Studio employee seeds P2P networks with new TV show : The Content Factory Sunday, August 12, 2007

    [...] over at NewTeeVee, they have a little tongue in cheek advice if you’d like to begin promoting your studio’s new big production using your peer [...]

  4. I don’t know, this has the feeling of Party apparatchiks trying to leak propaganda into the samizdat, what with the operatives and double- and triple-crosses!

  5. Top Posts « WordPress.com Sunday, August 12, 2007

    [...] How To Leak Your Own TV Show On The Net Want to give your new TV show a big promotional push? Forget about those promo DVDs in Entertainment Weekly, nobody […] [...]

  6. How To Leak TV-Shows | p2pfreak Wednesday, August 15, 2007

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  7. steve cooperman Friday, August 17, 2007

    FYI: Release groups don’t support p2p. They actually hate people who leak their releases to p2p, because that’s what makes the FBI so interested in busting down the community. If the scene were kept private, and only scene members had access to it, the FBI wouldn’t be so interested.

  8. Studio employee seeds P2P networks with new TV show | The Content Factory Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    [...] over at NewTeeVee, they have a little tongue in cheek advice if you’d like to begin promoting your studio’s new big production using your peer [...]

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