If you have any history with the early sharing economy you might recall that media was almost a type of currency. File-sharing—mostly music, and then video—was a free market piracy system that actually served to reshape the professional media distribution business model. This is why, in fact, we have sites and apps like Pandora, I-Heart-Radio, and Spotify.
And if you are familiar with this controversy then you are also likely familiar with names like Napster and Kazaa, and more recently, uTorrent and BitTorrent.
“Torrent,” of course, is a noun meaning “stream of rapid-flowing or violent water.” While digital torrents are certainly not violent, the reason they have been successful in the piracy war is that no one person shares a single file directly with any other single person. Instead, each person who has the file and shares it to the community contributes bits (like water molecules) to the total stream of activity.
While torrent sites have been shut down, for the most part, they are still around, just operating differently. You can now use BitTorrent, as a matter of fact, as a music and video streaming service. Perhaps more importantly, this is a great way to find new work from independent artists that you probably have never heard of (or, maybe you know them but they have not yet hit the mainstream).
So, basically, BitTorrent is now an Android music application that you might find fills in the gaps between your Pandora radio and your Spotify albums, but that is, of course, only if you are willing to pay for each of these services. Fortunately, BitTorrent does offer a few files for free with options to pay for premium streams.
One of the best features of the new BitTorrent Android app might be that single artists can actually set their own minimum price on music Bundles (like an album, etc). Also, you can opt to pay more than the list price for the media too, allowing you to actively support the artists you love the most; and you can invite your friends to do the same.
As you might expect, you can log into BitTorrent using email, Google, and Facebook; and that means, obviously, you can share your favorites with your friends.