It’s not surprising that BitTorrent has encountered challenges explaining the difference between BitTorrent (the technology) and BitTorrent (the company) to everyone in the entertainment industries.

With rightsholders trying to shut down the most popular BitTorrent-based filesharing services, responses to offers of partnership from the company that developed the technology used by those services are… mixed.

BitTorrent’s courtship efforts continue. “We’ve been trying to groom the entertainment industry to think about BitTorrent as a partner,” marketing boss Matt Mason tells the New York Times. “It’s a constant challenge. People don’t even know we’re a company. They think we’re two teenagers in a basement in Sweden.”

Mason points to the 160m users of BitTorrent’s two torrent clients, with 40m of them active every day: “More than Hulu, Spotify, Netflix combined and doubled…”

Mason is working on more partnerships for BitTorrent to show how this scale can pay off for musicians, filmmakers and other creators, while also looking to embed its software into set-top boxes to take BitTorrent into (non-geek) living rooms.

On the music side, while management companies like Fame House have been early adopters, 2013 could be ripe for some even bigger legal marketing campaigns using the platform.

Two key challenges. First: that ongoing war against the illegal torrent sites, which can’t help but colour many rightsholders’ views, rightly or wrongly.

But second: the need for more and better data showing the link between free-but-legal distribution of an artist’s content on BitTorrent, and the money they make directly or indirectly from it. Music Ally has spoken to a number of managers and label execs who understand BitTorrent’s pitch – they’re not luddites or confused – but want more proof that it will pay off.

As more artists test it out, we hope to see more figures of that ilk in 2013.