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Swarmcast was a provider of Internet television service. It was headquartered in Minneapolis and Tokyo with branch offices in Zurich, San Francisco and New York City. At its height it employed approximately 50 people. The company closed January 15, 2010.


Swarmcast was founded in 2001 by Justin Chapweske under the name Onion Networks. Swarmcast was originally the name of an innovative peer-to-peer software product developed by Opencola in the Java programming language. Swarmcast introduced an early bittorrent-like transfer protocol, with the intention to provide content creators with greater control over the distribution of their product than was permitted by other P2P protocols at the time.[1]

In 2006 the company received $5 million of investment capital and relaunched in 2007 as Swarmcast to focus on Internet television. Major League Baseball has used its Mosaic product, which offered viewers simultaneous access to video feeds from four baseball games.[2]

Technology overview[edit]

Swarmcast's video delivery platform, the Autobahn Platform, used adaptive bitrate streaming, encodes at many different bitrates, and switches bitrates as a user's network conditions change.[3] It uses HTTP for video streaming, and can talk to Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe Systems Flash.[4]

Early versions of Chapweske's technology were based on peer-to-peer data transfer techniques, but today Swarmcast does not utilize any form of P2P data transfer.


  1. ^ OpenP2p article on Swarmcast from 2001-05-24, retrieved 2009-12-04
  2. ^ [1] StreamingMedia.com Geoff Daily. 2007-01-04. Retrieved 2009-02-16
  3. ^ http://swarmcast.com/showcase
  4. ^ http://swarmcast.com/showcase

External links[edit]