BitTorrent shuts down its live streaming website to refocus on mobile

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BitTorrent Inc. is shutting down its P2P-powered live streaming website by the end of the month, according to an email BitTorrent co-founder Bram Cohen sent out to users late Wednesday. Cohen called the shut-down a “directional change” for the company’s live streaming ambitions, writing in part:

“After invaluable experience in real deployments, we found that requiring a browser plug-in is daunting to our users. Because of this, we are refocusing the product on mobile platforms… Due to the shift in engineering focus to mobile, we are no longer able to support the existing BitTorrent Live web site. We will be shutting it down at noon Pacific Standard Time on Thursday February 27th.”

Last week, BitTorrent announced that it was going to launch a mobile live streaming app later this year.

Cohen has been working on P2P-powered live streaming since 2008, and he told me in an interview in 2010 that BitTorrent Live is based on a new P2P protocol focused on low latency that bears little resemblance to the traditional BitTorrent protocol.

BitTorrent started testing P2P live streaming in late 2011, and opened up the platform to publishers a year after that. However, the offering never got a whole lot of traction, so one shouldn’t expect too much of a backlash to the shutdown.

Check out my 2010 interview with Cohen below:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEWyIysi8JA#t=0]

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