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Summary:

This summer’s TV season is creeping up on us, and the networks are once again trying to get us hooked on a bunch of new and not-so-new shows. A lot of money is being spent on traditional promotion, but you can also expect an increased number […]

This summer’s TV season is creeping up on us, and the networks are once again trying to get us hooked on a bunch of new and not-so-new shows. A lot of money is being spent on traditional promotion, but you can also expect an increased number of free downloads from the iTunes store, Amazon Unbox and similar platforms. Some producers are even more brave (or desperate, depending on your point of view), leaking their material to YouTube and file-sharing networks.

Usually that’s something people don’t talk about. One exception is Spike TV’s new show, Factory. The network hired the P2P promoters of the Jun Group to distribute the show’s pilot on the Limewire file-sharing network, according to the LA Times. This might not have been the best choice. After all, Limewire is primarily used to download music, and the network is completely search-based, meaning users have to know what they are looking for, and who would search for a still-unknown TV show of a not-that-popular cable network? But don’t worry, it’s not all that complicated to get P2P promotion right. Here are five essential points to get your show popular with file-swappers.

Chose the right network. Limewire is a great file-sharing tool, it’s just not all that popular with the TV downloading crowd. People tend to download their shows via BitTorrent instead — if they’re in the U.S., that is. Other countries have other favorites, so the right choice really depends on the market you want to target. There’s a great overview about different global file-sharing habits in the Ipoque Internet Study 2007.

Go with the big guys.
There are tons of BitTorrent sites out there. Some are invite-only while others are open to everyone. While it would be great of you could slowly infiltrate a closed community of hard-core file sharers and then wait for your show to organically find its way onto the bigger platforms, chances are you don’t have the time for that. So relax, and just upload your content on the Pirate Bay, Isohunt and Mininova. Together these three sites generate a billion page views per month, according to TorrentFreak. Here’s a great guide to use Mininova, and this guide explains how to upload torrents to the Pirate Bay.

Be a good seeder. You really need to get the ball rolling yourself if you want to make content popular on P2P networks, and that means keeping your copy up 24/7. There is nothing as frustrating as a torrent download that gets stuck at 90 percent because the initial copy, also called “seed” in pirate lingo, goes offline. Luckily you won’t have to convert your home office into a file-sharing haven: There are tons of companies that offer dedicated servers just for running BitTorrent and seeding content. A long list of these so-called seed boxes can be found here.

Don’t seed from your office network. Now this might be obvious because you don’t want to get in trouble with IT security, but there’s another good reason to avoid that corporate network infrastructure for P2P promotion: Many file-swappers use so-called block lists nowadays that are supposed to protect them from getting sued. Block lists tend to contain a wide array of IP address lists from entertainment companies. Chances are your company is in there as well, and nobody would touch your torrent if you seeded it from your TV network’s network.

Utilize file-sharing blogs.
The great thing about BitTorrent downloads is that they can be linked to from regular web pages. This has led to a whole subculture of file-sharing blogs that link to and sometimes review new torrents. Blogs like Rlslog.net have thousands of TV-addicted readers, so this is a great way to get your show in front of huge audience and really get your P2P distribution going.

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  1. Alec McNayr Friday, June 13, 2008

    Very smart. Even “pirates” have rules, and it’s nice to see someone in Big Media at least trying to embrace P2P for what it is: a community based on appreciation of media (even if not legal) and desire to consume content.

    I’m glad Rule #6 wasn’t “rename your filename into something with the word ‘boobs’ in it.”

  2. Internet providers must ax child porn Web sites – Courier-Post Saturday, June 14, 2008

    [...] How To Promote Your TV Show on P2P Networks – Newteevee.comThis summer s TV season is creeping up on us, and the networks are once again trying to get us hooked on a bunch of new and not-so-new shows. A lot of money is being spent on traditional promotion, but you can also expect an increased number of [...]

  3. Using P2P & YouTube To Promote New TV Shows | The Networks Decide They Want In » Web TV Wire Saturday, June 14, 2008

    [...] according to NewTeeVee, the American networks are getting in on the act, with many choosing to spread episodes of new and [...]

  4. What’s On GigaNet: Weekend Edition – GigaOM Sunday, June 15, 2008

    [...] NewTeeVee: tells you how to promote your television show on P2P networks, and not hate on them. [...]

  5. Cisco Unified Communications – Washington Post Sunday, June 15, 2008

    [...] How To Promote Your TV Show on P2P Networks – Newteevee.comThis summer s TV season is creeping up on us, and the networks are once again trying to get us hooked on a bunch of new and not-so-new shows. A lot of money is being spent on traditional promotion, but you can also expect an increased number of [...]

  6. Adam Martin {Fat Man} Tuesday, June 17, 2008

    Great guide Janko.

    Good to see outfits like Jun emerging, this is a service we provide, together with great contacts at leading file sharing sites and blogs. Throughout our research it’s clear, file sharers will actively encourage and promote authentic and exclusive material, let 80 million + do the talking and promotion for you, they were never going to sit down at 8pm on a Sunday night to watch the scheduled show anyway. Go to your audience where they are and learn to communicate with them on their terms.

  7. Parimar Kohen Sunday, June 22, 2008

    Hi!

    That was some interesting piece of information. I am working on an article about the varying trends across decades in the entertainment industry and I believe that your page could support my work. So, I would want to refer to your page. I hope that is okay with you. Appreciate your help.

    Respectfully,
    Parimar Kohen

  8. This Fall’s TV Shows: Now on P2P Networks « NewTeeVee Thursday, June 26, 2008

    [...] This Fall’s TV Shows: Now on P2P Networks This summer’s TV season has barely started, but net-savvy TV fans are already downloading pilots of shows slated to premiere this fall. A whole bunch of pilots have found their way onto torrent sites in recent days, and file sharers are having heated debates about shows that in some cases still go by their working titles. As always, the sources of the leaks are unknown, but one can suspect that at least some of the shows received some inside help. [...]

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