What happened to “P2P?”

People don’t even mention P2P (peer-to-peer) sharing anymore as they did in the days of Napster. Now, sharing is just a natural extension of the web.

P2P used to be a pejorative term fraught with perceptions of theft and piracy of downloads. It’s true that illegal downloads are still rampant all over of the world. But streams have replaced downloads for the most part and legitimate content networks (Spotify, Hulu, YouTube) have sprouted up to give people that free experience with the support of advertising.

“P2P” as a term has virtually disappeared. If you’re not sharing content you’re not partitipating in what the web was built for. As an artist, you’re able to spread your content across the web and convert your biggest fans. As a user, you’re able to discover all types of new stuff. P2P birthed an online niche for everybody. Sharing is still an imperfect balance, especially when it comes to paid content, but new models are emerging simplify consumption and encourage word of mouth.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.