In short, P2P delivery leverages the benefits of traditional unicast delivery with a system that scales naturally as your audience grows.
Global Internet traffic, and especially video traffic, is growing at an exponential rate.
Whether it be the evolution of native plug-in-less video playback in-browser, the demise of third-party player clients, or the vast improvement in HTTP streaming protocols, unicast has established itself as the de facto standard for streaming media.
If P2P streaming technology can deliver what it promises, it will help relieve network bottlenecks, manage traffic spikes (even with millions of concurrent users), improve the overall user experience by reducing bandwidth, improve stream start-up times, and allow us to deliver higher video quality (whether that means resolution, bitrate, or both).
In the past, P2P solutions, much like multicast, have required the installation of software or plug-ins on the client device.
Many of the major developments we've seen in the streaming industry in recent years revolve around the use of multicast and unicast for content distribution.
So why is multicast practically obsolete on the Internet and on the verge of extinction across many enterprise, governmental, and educational networks?
When a user requests a video on a website, the player requests the video stream from the origin server, edge server, or CDN.