EUTIC Athens 2007


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EUTIC Athens 2007

  1. 1. EUTIC 2007 - CHALLENGES AND USES OF ICT Media and Information diffusion: towards an open society Athens, November 7-10 2007 Nikos Smyrnaios, Jean-Thierry Julia Maîtres de conférences en Sciences de l’information et de la communication LERASS, Université Toulouse 3 Is peer-to-peer the futur of television ? The case of
  2. 2. Peer-to-peer & the Cultural Industries EUTIC 2007 <ul><li>- P2P file sharing networks ,one of the most popular internet applications </li></ul><ul><li>More than 40 millions of users in Europe (Cachelogic, 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>10 millions of users connected at any given time </li></ul><ul><li>- 2 billions of downloads on BitTorrent protocol based </li></ul>The p2p paradox: in spite of its popularity as a means of content distribution, mass commercial exploitation from the cultural industries is minimum
  3. 3. EUTIC 2007 <ul><li>Up to now P2P file-sharing was often used as an excuse in order to promote repressive laws: </li></ul><ul><li>Family Entertainment and Copyright Act in the US, 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Droit d’auteur et droits voisins dans la société de l’information (DADVSI) in France, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>20.000 P2P users pursued in the US by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>The issue from the Cultural Industries point of view is : </li></ul><ul><li>how to « domesticate » P2P as a means of content distribution ? </li></ul><ul><li>Joost, an online TV distributor, is an example of these attempts </li></ul>Peer-to-peer as « piracy »
  4. 4. Technical & economical characteristics of Online TV In traditional television distribution costs are fixed and represent approximately 10% of the total operating costs (TOUSSAINT-DESMOULINS, 2004). Online TV’s distribution costs are variable depending on the number of viewers. This is because bandwidth is a relatively expensive commodity 60 minutes of average quality program diffusion to one viewer costs between 0,3 and 0,7 euros (INEUM, 2006) : 1000 viewers ≈ 500 €/hour 50.000 viewers ≈ 25.000€/hour In a centralised distribution system these costs are entirely assumed by the distributor. That is why the most popular online TV services such as YouTube or DailyMotion are limited in terms of video length EUTIC 2007
  5. 5. Reciprocity as a solution to high distribution costs EUTIC 2007 50.000 users of a popular greek BitTorrent community exchange approximatively 80TB of information per month (the equivalent of 150.000 average length movies in DivX format) with a monthly server cost of about 400€ Why? Because of the principle of reciprocity of peer-to-peer networks. Peers are sharing content but also bandwidth and servers. Costs of distribution are split between thousands of participants. Joost is an attempt put in use the principle of reciprocity in a commercial and « piracy safe » framework
  6. 6. Creation EUTIC 2007 Joost is a platform of Online TV created by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström in 2006. They are also the inventors of the FastTrack protocol, upon which was based Kazaa , and also of Skype , sold to eBay in 2005 <ul><li>130 employees around the world </li></ul><ul><li>Claiming 1.000.000 users </li></ul><ul><li>More than 200 channels </li></ul><ul><li>- In order to use Joost users have to download and install a software which gives them access to the platform </li></ul>
  7. 7. Concept EUTIC 2007 The basic idea of Joost is to combine a traditional centralised Online TV service with a diffusion network based on a peer-to-peer protocol. <ul><li>Every user is simultaneously server and client of the Joost network </li></ul><ul><li>Stream of information is received in packages from numerous sources and re-directed to other users </li></ul><ul><li>Network is presented as « piracy proof » to the Cultural Industries (CBS and Viacom are shareholders) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Economical & technical advantages EUTIC 2007 Joost benefits from a virtuous circle or club effect : As the number of users increases the quantity of available bandwidth increases proportionally which makes it possible to distribute more content variety of available content attracts more users and so on Costs of diffusion much lower than traditional Online TV. If one fifth of users are simultaneously on line the system disposes of 40TB of user generated upload capacities. Diffusion « space » potentially unlimited Service is free of charge for users in order to obtain critical mass. Financing comes from personnalised publicity for the moment but the system’s architecture can bare paying Premium offers
  9. 9. Content & functionalities 210 channels, eight categories on October 2007: EUTIC 2007 -Predominantly « flow » content such as music-clips, talk-shows, games, Big-brother like shows - « Stock » content is less important but existing. Mostly short films, older blockbusters, documentaries and rare unknown films -Interactive functionalities such as chat, rating, agenda, and others can be directly integrated to the interface
  10. 10. EUTIC 2007 The use of peer-to-peer protocols in order to distribute TV content in a commercial framework seems to be developing rapidely. Other services than Joost exist already such as Babelgum, SopCast and even BitTorrent. In parallel an entire « ecosystem » of non commercial and auto-organised peer-to-peer networks offers the possibility to users to by-pass traditionnal content protections imposed by the Cultural Industries. It would be interesting to observe whether the later will obtain peer-to-peer « domestication » or not in the near futur, seeing the user shift to legal Online TV offers. In addition to that, another question that needs to be adressed is whether these developements offer an occasion to marginal content to reach mass publics, validating the Long Tail effect (Anderson, 2005) or not. Conclusion & perspectives
  11. 11. Ευχαριστούμε για την προσοχή σας ! EUTIC 2007