Blog Post

Ten P2P Distribution Platforms for Online Video Makers

P2P is where it’s at for online video these days. Not a week goes by without an announcement of a new P2P platform or distribution deal. It’s easy to see why folks are excited about this: distributed data delivery can save you a lot of money, plus it’s technology that millions of people already use to get their Harry Potter.

Pando Web Upload

Independent content producers are unfortunately still left in the dark when it comes to many of the new, Hollywood-approved P2P platforms. Case in point: There’s no upload button in Joost. There are, however, quite a few services out there that help you to distribute your content without contract negotiations and DRM schemes. Here are ten sites to get you started: The makers of the popular BitTorrent client Azureus offer a free torrent hosting solution, complete with a good-looking directory and web space for the initial seed (the copy of your film that gets the P2P pyramid started). HD content is welcome, and long-tail Ebay-like monetization schemes are in the works for future updates. The inventors of the BitTorrent protocol launched a commercial website earlier this year. The site is dominated by DRM-laden Hollywood movies and TV shows, but bedroom producers are also invited to sign up and distribute their own content for free. Seed hosting of user-generated content will be available later this year.

Broadcast Machine is a Torrent tracker solution for folks who want to keep complete control over their distribution platform from the same folks who make Miro. Works with any web space that supports PHP. Some web hosters don’t like trackers on their shared servers though, so you should take a look at your terms of aervice first. is one of the pioneers the file sharing world, and it’s still one of the most popular P2P programs. Limewire and similar Gnutella clients feature a P2P linking scheme called “Magnet Links“ that is somewhat similar to a torrent file. You’ll find a good, yet somewhat technical description on how to make your own Magnet Links here. Hint: It’s always a good idea to combine magnet links with a web-hosted copy of your files.

Red Swoosh. The Akamai-owned P2P company allows content owners to distribute their video downloads for free. P2P-ifying content only takes a few seconds, but users have to install the Red Swoosh client in order to access your files.

Amazon S3 has made headlines with very competitive hosting deals. A little-known secret of the service is that any file hosted on an S3 server can be accessed as a BitTorrent download. Just upload your videos to S3, let the service generate some torrent files and you’re all set.

Veoh combines a Youtube-like video portal with a P2P player that is available for Windows PCs and Macs. Videos are streamable on the website, but the player is necessary for downloading and playback of better-quality versions.

Pando just started its own, really cheap P2P-based CDN. Don’t want to spend anything? You can also use Pando to distribute files of up to one gigabyte for free.

Selfcast from RawFlow offers live P2P streaming. Think Ustream with a proprietary P2P technology. Requires Windows and Windows Media Player 10 to work.

Coral CDN. Granted, this isn’t a true P2P service, but rather an experimental, open source, and non-profit CDN. Coral distributes data through 260 cache servers, most of which are owned by universities around the globe. Coralizing your content is easy: Just add a prefix to your URL and you’re ready to go.

19 Responses to “Ten P2P Distribution Platforms for Online Video Makers”

  1. MediaMelon offers not just P2P connectivity but CDN switching, letting publishers distribute via specific CDNs based on price or performance. Live streaming, on-demand streaming and downloads using multiple protocols, dynamic content assembly and predictive forward caching. With analytics, reporting and DRM. The world of distribution continues to get better and better!

  2. Wow! Super thank you!!! I’m presently doing Web 2.0 related projects for our company and I have just finished working on the creation of account for Video-creating sites. After this, I’ll check out the potential of the things you have listed here.

  3. hmmm… I guess there are only a few of us like me who don’t like using P2P because of the bad reputation it has. Most P2P I’ve ever used just seems to corrupt my software in some way, whether it be spyware or an application that really doesn’t work or whatever. Limewire, by the way, I think definitely does have illegal files on it (I mean pirated files). I guess that I might need to look at legit P2P sometime.

  4. Hey Dovetail does this and makes it totally easy. The thing is that you hardly realize that it’s P2P because it’s not full of the BitTorrent lingo…it’s easy to upload (uses P2P for huge file uploads), P2P for distribution and everything gets transcoded into WMV, so it plays with minimal codec issues. Check it out.

  5., a new video enabled, noncommercial, free Web site has been launched that is said to untangle the Web by building what it calls an interestcentric, community-driven database. The purpose is to provide only the most relevant search results based on a user’s search parameters. Currently, the Web site, called, focuses on six major categories: News and Information, Classified Marketplace, Message Boards, Calendar, Job Postings and a Community Directory. To learn more, visit

  6. Hi Janko,

    Dovetail ( is also in this market. We allow authorized producers (ie, people who actually own the copyright to their films) to upload even HD video files, and we transcode them to HD or DVD quaity, DRM the content, and pay producers for each download. It’s really a great way for content producers to distribute their work.


  7. I love – when it works! I’ve found that it can “freeze” up after watching a few long-ish videos – the whole video downloads but you just can’t watch past a point :(

    But the higher vid quality and the “series” feature is v. cool.