BitTorrent quietly and brutally stops giving cash grants to artists
In August, BitTorrent announced the Discovery Fund, a grant program for the marketing and promotional funding of artists. “Over the next year, BitTorrent aims to partner with 25 creators by providing cash grants and global promotional support to create impactful releases and discover new fans,” the company said in a blog post. . “This open international initiative has ongoing appeal (so you can apply when your project is ready) and provides $ 2,500-100,000 in marketing and distribution funding to be used at your discretion.” Now, without fanfare, BitTorrent has stopped accepting grant applications from the Discovery Fund, the company confirmed to Pitchfork.
“The program is still ongoing. However, we made all of the commitments we planned to make for the Discovery Fund, ”said Christian Averill, vice president of marketing at BitTorrent, in an email response to questions from Pitchfork. “While a good number of projects in the program have already been published, or are still in development and will be published soon, no additional projects will be funded at this time.”
As of October 3, BitTorrent tweeted a call for candidates. In recent days, however, the BitTorrent Discovery Fund URL has quietly started redirecting to another page on the BitTorrent site. The company had said applicants would receive a response within eight weeks, but users on Twitter and Facebook have complained that they did not receive their responses within this timeframe.
Two readers, Bobby Aherne of No Monster Club of Ireland and Dylan Von Wagner of Imaginary People of New York, each separately told Pitchfork that they received the following email response to their applications:
Averill, BitTorrent’s marketing manager, suggested the post was part of an effort to educate applicants during a time he was away from the office.
“We continue to receive a lot of queries and applications for the program and we generally respond to each one individually,” Averill told Pitchfork. “While I was away, efforts were made to inform recent applicants of this status and it appears that a version of this has been communicated to you. We are currently working to ensure that all who have applied are informed directly of the status. of their candidacy. “
Despite the sudden end of the Discovery Fund, the program could still end up partnering with 25 artists as initially announced. Averill told Pitchfork that “between what has already been published and the work in progress that will be published at a future date, we should achieve this  Mark.”
Straith Schreder, vice president of creative initiatives at BitTorrent and a director who gave interviews to the Discovery Fund when the program was announced, is no longer with the company.