P2P-Next is an evolutionary extension of the existing media and entertainment distribution systems.
Distribution of radio and television programmes, movies, music, ring tones, games, and various data applications to the general public is today possible via a variety of dedicated networks and special end user terminals. As broadband Internet becomes ubiquitous, all content distribution services will be combined (bundled) and conveyed to the general public via a common pipeline – the Internet. Today several technologies are used for the media distribution across the Internet: unicast, IP multicast, content distribution networks, and most recently – Peer-to-Peer (P2P).
P2P still has a somewhat dubious reputation as an illegal file sharing mechanism akin to Napster, Kazaa, Glockster, etc. Nevertheless, today it is considered by many as an efficient, reliable, and low cost mechanism for distributing any media file or live stream, and it is extensively used.
Broadcasters and content providers consider P2P as a future-proof, universal, and ubiquitous two-way (interactive) distribution mechanism. Initially, P2P will complement the existing distribution mechanisms such as satellite, cable and terrestrial networks, but ultimately it may supersede them. The P2P-Next Project extends the notion of a conventional media distribution network. It introduces a concept of on-demand, personalised, and social network.