According to a post on TechCrunch Azureus is announcing their Zudeo beta on Monday. It certainly appears that they are trying to take a stab at The Venice Project before it launches (rumored to be in early January).
If the post is accurate by claiming partnerships with over a dozen major TV and film studios to provide free programs, Azureus is very likely hinting at the coming Venice Project BizDev strategy: partner with the major video content holders, legitimately distribute ad supported long format High Resolution content using P2P mechanisms, and focus less on user generated content (which can be better handled by sites like YouTube anyways). Granted, there’s still a strong social network aspect to Zudeo but that’s more than likely to try to build a viral network than to focus on user generated content.
In a hypothetical world where the next generation of video distribution was really just between these two players I’d place my bets on TVP. The reason being if only because having eBay in your corner (even if that relationship is unclear) means there’s a deep pocket looking to own a piece of a new important marketplace. All eyes will be on Niklas and his latest venture. Points to Azureus for showing us some biz strategy evolution in this space.
Those of us following major issues in the VoIP space can read between the lines here and predict that there will be some upcoming issues in this space involving network neutrality. Legal issues only get thornier if either of these projects gain traction. The fat pipes of the internet (which happen to provide video content too) will not be so happy with P2P traffic eating through their bandwidth and competing uber-aggressively on price for services they offer too.