Yesterday in the Bay Area I had a fantastic brainstorming session with Gilles BianRosa the CEO of Azureus. If you don´t know what Azureus is and you are reading my blog you are a rara avis. 114 million people have downloaded Azureus in a world that has around 250 million broadband lines (and Azureus is kind of useless if you don´t have broadband).
Why do people download and install Azureus? For two reasons: one is to move content around the internet fast and, the second one, to share content without paying for it.
Let me focus on the first advantage first. In 2000 a 5 gig hard drive was standard in a laptop. Now we have gone up to 100GB. The first iPods had a few gig. Now they have 60 gig. What about internet speeds? Very little progress there. In 2000 you were getting a couple of megs of DSL and now you are lucky to get much more than that. And cable speeds have remained practically constant. So what happens in a world of faster processing, faster storage and stagnant internet speeds? Smart people come up with developments like Azureus. When you use Azureus you are both downloading and sending portions of content at the same time. First there was downloading from servers, then there was P2P and now there´s torrents, rivers of data that users feed and draw from. Think of Azureus as a perfect digital recycling in which what you throw away, others use.
Now why do we like Azureus at Fon? Because Fon is doing something similar to Azureus for WiFi. We do distributive WiFi (we do not have the content problems however as we distribute the whole internet, not specific content). As I told Gilles, the Fon slogan that says that with Fon you “share a little and gain a lot” could be applicable to Azureus. What is going to happen to Azureus? After meeting with Gilles I concluded that Azureus has a very good chance to convince movie distribution companies to use Azureus to distribute and sell their content. Movie studios, record labels have to stop fighting their customers and when they do they will see that Azureus is much better distribution model. When I think of Youtube, for example, on one side I admire their growth and, but on the other, I imagine the guys at Youtube looking at their carrier and storage bills every month and having a fit. Shouldn´t Youtube for example seed torrents instead of serving those videos? Shouldn´t many others do the same? Until fiber optics combined with WiFi becomes widely available I think that collaborative carrier models such as Azureus will rule. No wonder 113 million people downloaded the tool!
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