Hola instant torrent player helps VODO.net become the “Netflix” for indie content
Written by Ofer Vilenski, Hola CEO
Watching video on the web has become such an integral part of our daily lives, yet we rarely consider the large cost around “broadcasting” these videos. In order for us to watch these videos, there are costly elements involved in the distribution process, including the expensive computer reading that video from disk and sending it to us, a climate controlled building housing that computer, the computer's Internet connection, and the many such computers around the world that get the video to us quickly when we press ‘play’.
This video distribution cost is bearable for companies like Netflix, which utilizes a subscription model where its users pay for the videos they watch, or for YouTube where advertising covers the costs.
Unfortunately, the distribution costs are NOT bearable for companies that don't charge a considerable amount for the video consumption or that don't rely heavily on advertising. One such company is VODO.net. VODO is the “Netflix” of Indie content. Its a platform for Indie movie creators to show their content to the world, and for customers to see that content mostly for free. If customers love the film, they can donate to the creator to encourage more such works.
Since many of VODO's views are free, VODO can't absorb video distribution fees. Therefore, it chose to distribute the films as Torrents. This means that in order to see a film on VODO, a customer must download the torrent from VODO's site, proceed to download a Bittorrent client, download the movie in its entirety (which typically takes more than 30 minutes) and finally open a 3rd party video player to watch it. This proves to be a prohibitive process for most users and a pain for all.
To give its users a better and faster experience, VODO has now integrated Hola's video player into the VODO site. Hola's player uses a Peer-to-Peer network to make the video distribution free, and streams the video instantly, giving the user an almost “YouTube-like” experience. The Hola player also automatically locates and loads subtitles in the user's local language, making VODO content easily accessible to users from around the world. With Hola, it takes 1-click and about 30 seconds to start streaming torrents with subtitles as an added benefit.
“As a free service, we relied on torrents for video distribution. That meant that viewing our content was very difficult for most of our users,” said Jamie King, Founder of VODO. “With the Hola Player, we've transformed our site to be almost as simple as YouTube or Netflix, while maintaining the zero cost of broadcasting the content.”
You can catch some of these great films at http://vodo.net/films/, and get a first hand look at the future of video distribution.
With already one million video views per day, at Hola, we believe that these are the first steps toward the future of very low cost video distribution. Publishers can embed the Hola Media Player into their websites for free. Information is available on http://hola.org/publishers and https://github.com/hola/player.