Recently, I had a nice chat with Jian Song, CEO of Vatata, a P2P video streaming solution provider. The following are some highlights:
Vatata and Vakaka
Lu: In my post “Tom-Joost and Vakaka, Chinese Joost and Vatata, Video Streaming System“, I was wondering if there is any connection between Vatata and Vakaka. Could you please confirm on this?
Jian: Yes. Vatata is behind Vakaka. Vatata provides the full P2P video streaming solution (back-end platform and front-end player) to Vakaka. We also offer the solution to some other customers, but Vakaka is the one we are trialing.
The impact of Joost coming to China
Lu: The P2P video market is very crowded and supposedly it should be mature as so many services have been running for a long while. Joost is here (Ed: The beta version of Tom-Joost has been quietly released, see the screenshot), in your opinion, will there be any impact on this market?
Jian: Surely there will be some impact on Chinese P2P video market. Technically speaking, for most of the service providers here, there has been little room to improve their products. The quality of the videos and the copyrights already keep them very busy. Joost brings the new concept and new user experience, which could be very attractive to Chinese users.
Joost in China
Lu: So do you think Joost can succeed in the end? What’s the catch for it.
Jian: As you know, any company runs online video service will be required a license from government. I dont know how Joost, as a foreigner can work around it. Maybe Tom is working on this but it might not be easy. Technically speaking, Joost’s client is too heavy and many Chinese users will not be able to use it or not bother to use it. Thirdly, what if the popular video-sharing sites expands their services to P2P market? It is just my assumption, but I think there is possibility and it could be a very bad news even to some local providers.
Lu: There are so many providers actively running in China, do they all have good revenue to survive?
Jian: Nearly 100% of revenue is from Ads, but the Ads rate is even cheaper than on web and it is far from enough to pay the bill of high bandwidth consumption.
Subscription: A Solution to Survive
Lu: So how can they survive? What is your suggestion.
Jian: I think Subscription might be a better solution. The user pay reasonable amount of money monthly in order to use the service. But frankly speaking, until now, it does not sound like a feasible solution in Chinese market. There are so many competitors here, if you charge the users for subscription, there will always be another provider offering the service, for free.
Chinese P2P Video Goes Abroad
Lu: Tell us a bit more about Vakaka, the Chinese Joost.
Jian: With the solution developed by Vatata, we are very confident on the Vakaka’s service. Users have experienced a Joost-like P2P video streaming service. Vakaka is also looking into oversea market, we are planning to offer the subscription service to the oversea Chinese users.