Thursday, March 24, 2005

P2P = Pod2Pod

More validation for the rise of device-to-device content transactions, this time from Pew Internet. One-fifth of music/video downloaders have swapped content directly between iPods and MP3 players, not far from the number (28%) which has used email and IM. I expect other forms of portable storage have also played a significant role. Does anyone expect that this trend wouldn't accelerate with zeroconf Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or UWB in the handset?

As usual, the incumbents in the content world seem to be backing legal, walled garden approaches that rely on some sort of centralized control, but having put P2P networks on the run through litigation, it's inevitable that users will find a workaround. The Pew research suggests that users are falling back on old-fashioned personal relationships as the new P2P network, and what the mainstream offerings being developed so far seem to ignore is this social aspect, which makes monetizing the device-to-device transaction more difficult. Others, at the edge of the market, are trying something else, but genuinely untethering it to capture these offroad transactions is going to be challenging, though not impossible. This is going to be fascinating to watch unfold.

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