The Decade of the Torrent

Looking back over the decade there can be only one thing that be said to have completely changed everything about Anime Fandom. It effected everything, even beyond anime and Anime Fandom. It was the internet. Specifically, BitTorrent.

In 2002 some guy created BitTorrent. Although there had been a "peer to peer" exchange of files previously it had only been small files, mostly mp3. BitTorrenting was different. It broke large files into smaller pieces and distributed them through a group of peers instead of one computer to another. Suddenly, you could distribute large files easily. Large files like videos.

Taking advantage of this, anime fans began distributing new anime recorded right off the air. With the easy access to these new shows a new phenomena of fan subtitling groups emerged along with easy digital subtitling.

Of course the advent of YouTube and improved digital streaming video has taken this to another level. Never before has it been so easy to watch so much anime.

What have we done?


DVC said...

"What have we done?"

My guess is some of us didn't do very much (my p.c. has always been too wimpy to torrent) while others helped to precipitate the death of the industry, downloading instead of buying the shiny discs. But torrenting has been a worldwide development, not just an American problem.

I never see more than one person browsing Best Buy's anime ghetto, yet the only Suncoast left in the state stocks new and used titles and is packed on weekends. Hmm.

I'd say that the industry has been short-sighted in many areas, and was particularly slow (abysmally slow) to embrace the new media.

With ad-supported free content becoming the norm and Sunrise selling U.S. distribution rights to obscure shows for a song, things will no doubt get even more interesting.