Last week BitTorrent participated in the first ever P2P & CLOUD MEDIA SUMMIT held in conjunction with Digital Hollywood 2010. The aim of the summit was to explore current policy, technology, and content issues as well as next-generation business opportunities related to P2P and cloud based commercial offerings.
My presentation titled “The Glass Half Full: The Unfulfilled Potential of File Sharing Networks,” focused on the surging growth in video over the Internet, and how the P2P industry and BitTorrent specifically, can facilitate new business models that leverage distributed networks; greater access speeds for the last mile; and cloud computing services. The cause for focus on this lever was made by the tremendous growth in video consumed via the Internet even though it continues to be dwarfed in the US by video consumed via the television.
What is the winning model? How will you help me, the content creator, make money? We did not propose a single path but a variety of initiatives centered on BitTorrent as a platform for the rich media experience; an evolution that would take our widely distributed client beyond its current use case to an application and service delivery mechanism for rich media experiences over the Internet.
Various definitions of success exist for forums such as this. However, a clear sign of that our message resonated with the more than 50 industry participants in attendance were the number of inquiries that I received IMMEDIATELY after the presentation concluded.
The Summit provided a rich environment for sharing information and an understanding of common themes. A few of these themes included:
– Legal landscape – The continued complexity as rulings emanate at a state, federal, and international level. Will products and services evolve to “solve” challenges in the marketplace?
– Business model creation – There is no consensus on a “winning” model for sharing of content. Depending on the type of content, customer segment, and place in the world, participants toggled between favoring subscription, paid download, or sponsored models. Everyone did agree that experimentation/trial would continue to refine models.
– Rich media partnerships – The discovery of rich media continues to be a challenge. A vast collection of content exists but better mechanisms are needed to match users and content. Creating partnerships in this new ecosystem is difficult given the early stage of these working arrangements.
So, what do you think the future media model looks like? You can check out my presentation here.