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P2P Millionaires on the Increase
November 15, 2003
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Advertising and bundled software many not sound like a recipe for making big money but in the P2P industry it can be enough for even the smaller P2P companies to rake in millions of dollars. Industry observers say that Sharman Networks' annual revenue is estimated to be $175 million and court documents show that much smaller players like StreamCast have earnt many millions from P2P. There is certainly some serious money to be made out of P2P.

Slyck details a P2P rich list based on some known earnings and some industry estimates. It is no surprise that those who created the most commercially successful P2P application of all time are also the biggest earners.

Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis have made a small fortune out of P2P. The Swedish duo formed Kazaa and FastTrack as well as several companies connected with the network. They have been responsible for licensing the code to iMesh, Grokster and StreamCast. Court documents show that they take up to 40% of the revenue of Kazaa. Wayne Rosso, CEO of MP2P, told Slyck the industry estimates that Sharman earns $175 million from their P2P application annually. If this is the case then the Zennstrom and Friis may be sharing up to $70 million from Kazaa on an annual basis.

Elan Oren also comes near to the top of our P2P rich list. Elan formed iMesh back in 1999 and is now CEO of the company. He had not faced any big lawsuit up until the recent RIAA filling. Slyck estimates that iMesh has earned the Israeli owner a cool $100 million since 1999.

Another low profile high P2P earner is Californian resident Daniel Rung. Daniel is the founder and owner of Grokster Ltd. Daniel, his brother and his son, have made millions through cydoor advertising and large bundles of 3rd party. Daniel has stayed away from the limelight and is known to most people by his online pseudonym of Henry Wilson.

Like Zennstrom and Friis, Pablo Soto has founded his own P2P network. Pablo created the MP2P network that is used by Blubster and Piolet. It seems like only yesterday that Pablo was struggling to make money from Blubster. Now he is earning a small fortune via the P2P application, thanks to a large community and adopting the likes of cydoor in the Blubster application. The 23 year old can only get richer with his big plans for the application. iMesh and StreamCast are interested in licensing access to the network and Pablo plans to extend the network to sharing all file types.

Other individuals that have made some serious cash out of P2P worth noting are Vinnie Falco of Bearshare, Mark Gorton of LimeWire, Jon Hess of Direct Connect and Jed McCaleb of MetaMachine. In addition, Shawn Fanning may have gained a few million from selling his P2P application to venture capitalists and others. On the other side of the coin Hillary Rosen’s salary only hit over 1 million a year thanks to her high profile assault on P2P applications.

While there is some serious money to be made out of a P2P application, you can also get your fingers badly burnt if you are not careful. Johnny Deep is in serious dept after a long battle against the RIAA. He is believed to owe just under $2 million to parties related to his lawsuit and has been declared bankrupt. The company that has probably lost the most through P2P is Bertelsmann, with over $110 million worth of failed investments in Napster.

The key to a P2P operator hitting the jackpot seems to be growing a large community, controlling legal costs, bundling 3rd part software and supporting proven P2P advertising solutions such as Cydoor.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Authorized P2P :: Commercial P2P Clients
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: Statistics/Analysis

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