There is no denying that P2P (peer-to-peer) content distribution is massively popular with consumers, and disruptive to operators, content owners, etc. The guys behind Kazaa made their bones in the internet game using P2P, then launched Skype, and now are focused on video with their coming service Joost. Network operators should take notice.
Like I’ve always said, consumers are in control and they will get what they want no matter what you try to do to stop them. P2P is great because it is a democracy – you get what you want, and pay less for it (if at all). But it’s also an efficient and cost-effective distribution mechanism – way more cost effective than point to point distribution. Instead of fighting it, operators can embrace P2P.
Computers aren’t what they used to be, adding the storage capacity of PVRs, people can have a terabyte of data sitting in their homes these days, and a fast broadband connection connected. Those are the two enablers of P2P, storage and bandwidth. Collectively, soon the storage in people’s homes could exceed that of the operator! The idea here is for operators to embrace P2P (BiTorrent, etc.) and incent customers to become content distributors!
An operator could…
1. Recognize the number of people on a node in the network
2. Provide an incentive for consumers to ‘sign up’ to be content distributors, and build the content their content distribution army!
3. No when they get an on-demand movie order they can direct the consumer to any of the content distributors on the node
4. The consumer picks the node with the best speed/price/etc. to deliver the content to them!
Basically, the operator still owns the rights, lowered the cost of distribution, and created an open marketplace for consumers to make money while providing a great, consumer-centric service!
Just one more way that ‘old media’ can take advantage of the greatness of the new digital world!