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Summary:

Joost has announced that it will discontinue support of its P2P TV application by the end of this week, essentially admitting that distributed content delivery for video streams isn’t worth the effort. But if 2008 taught us anything, then it’s that P2P TV is alive and […]

ppstreamJoost has announced that it will discontinue support of its P2P TV application by the end of this week, essentially admitting that distributed content delivery for video streams isn’t worth the effort. But if 2008 taught us anything, then it’s that P2P TV is alive and well — in China, at least.

Western services like Joost may have struggled to convince users to share their bandwidth with other video viewers, but Chinese online video fans don’t seem to have a problem with P2P TV at all. In fact, Chinese P2P grew so big in 2008 that it’s putting the audience numbers of Western online TV offerings to shame.

An article about online video in China in 2008 would not be complete without mentioning the Olympics, so let’s get this out of the way first: The Beijing games were something of a global coming-out party for Chinese P2P TV. Thanks to NBC’s tape delay, an untold number of Western users tried to watch the games live with P2P apps like Sopcast. And Chinese P2P TV providers were able to break some records of their own.

PPLive of Shanghai acquired a license from the Chinese TV network CCTV to broadcast the games live through its P2P service within China, and it saw anywhere between 210,000 and 500,000 users tune in for its live transmission of various Olympic competitions. An impressive 1.6 million concurrent viewers watched the opening ceremony live.  Just as a quick comparison: The BBC clocked only 200,000 concurrent viewers with its iPlayer during the games.

PPLive also made some headlines with its experimental PPVA plug-in, which distributes the Flash web videos of YouTube and other sites via P2P technology. The company told us that PPVA now sees 4 million active viewers per day, which translates to about 2-3 million concurrent viewers.

However, it’s not all rosy for PPLive. The company laid off more than 10 percent of its staff in October in anticipation of the economic slowdown in 2009. PPLive is in the process of raising a third round of funding right now. The company declined to provide further details about the C round, but a Softbank China executive recently confirmed taking part in the round, which is supposed to total $20 million.

Meanwhile, fellow Chinese P2P TV company PPStream announced its third round of financing, also totaling $20 million, earlier this fall. PPStream reached 7 million daily active users by last August and facilitates an astonishing 1 billion video viewing hours per month, according to company information.

And P2P video startup UUSee , which recently announced it was laying off 10 percent of its workforce, is hoping to break even in 2009. It thinks it might even generate some profits, despite the downturn.

  1. Let me be the first to say this: Joost failed because they tried to use P2P to scale VoD. But P2P does not scale …down. It’s first best use is for linear mass audience television…..eve better if it’s a simulcast of widely promoted live events from TV like NFL playoffs. That’s where the PPs and QQs get their numbers in CN. And ultimately that’s where the US networks will get theirs when they get a grip.

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  2. [...] Meantime more players are coming to the party, like CBS betting on tv.com to compete with Hulu (NBC Universal and News Corporation’s online video joint venture).  But, in a crowded market, also others are getting weaker, like Joost giving up their P2P model and with few options to survive only as one more flash video site. Despite Joost’s announcement, do not discount P2P TV, that is far from dead in China. [...]

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  3. [...] grew so big in 2008 that it?s putting the audience numbers of Western online TV offerings to shame. Continue reading on Newtevee.com. Tags: joost, china, p2p, p2ptv, pplive, ppstream, uusee, [...]

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  4. [...] plans hit a snag when the market slowed down towards the end of 2008. The company had to let go of more than 10 percent of its workforce in October, including its sole U.S.-based employee. However, things are apparently looking up. A [...]

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  5. [...] 2008 The Year China Dominated P2P TV Posted by root 2 hours 30 minutes ago (http://newteevee.com) Pplive of shanghai acquired a license from the chinese tv network cctv to broadcast the if your comment doesn 39 t show up immediately it may have gotten caught in our trusty idg technetwork middot powered by wordpress com Discuss  |  Bury |  News | 2008 The Year China Dominated P2P TV [...]

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  6. I love this site

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  7. [...] was originally developed in China, where it competes with other popular P2P TV services like PPLive and PPStream. The company received $2.7 million in funding from New Atlantic Ventures [...]

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  8. [...] platform in China, which enables users to have access to free movies. PPLive is one of the largest P2P video-streaming platforms in China, with some 20-30 million active monthly users and an install base of more than 100 million [...]

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