Incentives for P2P-Assisted Content Distribution: If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em
The rapid growth of content distribution on the Internet has brought with it proportional increases in the costs of distributing content. Adding to distribution costs is the fact that digital content is easily duplicable, and hence can be shared in an illicit Peer-To-Peer (P2P) manner that generates no revenue for the content provider. In this paper, the authors study whether the content provider can recover lost revenue through a more innovative approach to distribution. In particular, they evaluate the benefits of a hybrid revenue-sharing system that combines a legitimate P2P swarm and a centralized client-server approach. They show how the revenue recovered by the content provider using a server-supported legitimate P2P swarm can exceed that of the monopolistic scheme by an order of magnitude.