P2P Coming On Strong: BitTorrent Launches New Enterprise Content Service

At the Streaming Media East show earlier in the month, there was a lot of talk about how/if P2P distribution will disrupt the world of online video delivery. For me, it’s not a disruptor, but rather a compliment to other forms of video delivery. As some forget, P2P is not best suited for every type of content and every kind of distribution. That said, we’re starting to see some serious interest now when it comes to P2P, yet there is a huge learning curve that is going to have to take place with customers first.

At the show, I had the chance to sit down with BitTorrent and had an in-depth conversation with them about what content companies are asking for in the way of delivery and what trends they are seeing. They brought up a good point. On last year’s P2P panel at Streaming Media East, the vendors on the panel were making the case for P2P. But this year, it was the two customers on the panel, MTV and Turner who were saying how they needed P2P solutions. That shows a shift in the market and a move towards content companies at least being willing to now listen to what P2P based solutions may have to offer.

I also had the chance to hear about the new enterprise solution that BitTorrent just recently started offering in the market. While they call it an enterprise solution, and in our industry enterprise usually means Fortune 500, their solution is really tailored to the media and entertainment companies who are pushing serious traffic where a P2P solution would make sense. This new offering is one that is service based and separate from the
BitTorrent Entertainment Network, which is their portal where you can
purchase content. BitTorrent has spent most of the past few years working on technology and is now ready to aggressively promote and sell their service in the market. They’ve been on a hiring spree lately to be able to support this new offering from a marketing, business development and sales perspective and are still have a few more positions open to fill out the group.

Their new service is based on their technology they call BitTorrent DNA that they describe as "a disruptively effective content delivery technology". Their selling point is that of all P2P based solutions, reduced bandwidth cost, increased performance and scalability and an improved end-user experience. While their marketing pitch is still pretty high-level and is the exact same as all the others, BitTorrent’s solution really does stand out from the others from a technical level as well as how the company operates. For starters, they have an install base of over 150 million clients worldwide, far surpassing any other P2P based client out there. Also, they have a device certification program to ensure compatibility between a hardware solution, whether at the chip level or a consumer electronic device. In addition, customers have told me that BitTorrent’s P2P solution integrates better with other content delivery networks than some of the other P2P services on the market. BitTorrent also mentioned that one of their biggest advantage is that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) recommends their solution to content owners since BitTorrent has worked over the years to make the MPAA happy.

Add all of this up and the fact that BitTorrent raised $20 million back in December and it’s clear that BitTorrent will become a major player in the content delivery market. And if they do go public later this year, like many on Wall Street are speculating, they’ll become even more legit overnight.

For a list of P2P delivery providers, you can see my earlier post on 4/24:

List Of P2P Delivery Networks