Roosterteeth Productions – The Anomaly

They started with the show Red vs Blue and things took off from there for them.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

They quickly became one of the most recognizable names on the Internet and, surprisingly, are still going against the tide when it comes to the processes of making each episode and the distribution.

The first episode went live on October 19th, 2004, from there, the popularity grew fast.

Red vs Blue entertains today as it did then, standing apart from newer shows like Systm and The Scene.

Unlike other shows, they use pre-rendered art from Bungee’s popular video games “Halo” and “Halo 2”, but the biggest difference is their use of copyright. They use Copyright instead of Creative Commons.

Another difference is their comment on P2P technology, namely BitTorrent. According to one of their FAQ’s, they claim to have tried BitTorrent, but were dissatisfied, despite the fact that they have made a number of comments at how much of a beating their servers are taking from hosting the episodes. To compensate for the load, they instead choose to “rotate” their episodes available on the servers in the archives.

Spoof series Teh Scene has stated that they will sell DVD’s based on donations. Besides that, Red vs Blue is the only readily known show that generates revenue from DVD sales.

Like Systm, Red vs Blue also makes revenue from selling products. One different aspect is that they give away low resolutions to viewers while selling the higher resolutions to sponsors..

Regardless of Roosterteeth’s reluctance to utilise P2P, one quick search on E-mule or any other P2P client will reveal all of the episodes available for download. One would think that posting a simple hash code would help relieve server tension, but, to date, no hash codes of any sort have ever been posted on their main website.

In the mean time, any other free TV show will reveal far more sources for each episode through P2P and multiple mirrors, which, in turn, will typically offer a faster download rate and boost download reliability. One would have to ask if it’s some sort of moral obstruction that has prevented Roosterteeth from setting up a tracker or posting hash codes or maybe even Bungee explicitly told them not to do so, it’s any fans guess.

While many other shows are enjoying the bandwidth benefits of P2P, Roosterteeth seem to just keep holding onto a single direct download link for their distribution model. It is an interesting anomaly to say the least.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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