After great success of interview with Karel Gevers of Netlog the year begins with another incredible interview, this time with Rapidshare (with Katharina Scheid, company speaker), on of the famous and used services of files hosting on the web.
1) There are many one click file hosting services around and Rapidshare is one of the biggest, what’s due your success?
I think that one reason for the success of RapidShare is the concept behind it: The service is very easy to use, fast and secure. I believe another one is the huge demand for the exchange of data over the internet, since it is so comfortable and fast. Remember when it took days for a disk with important data to be delivered by post? Nowadays we are able to send files around the world within seconds.
2) Your premium offer has success between people using Rapidshare or most prefer using the free solution?
The ratio between free users and premium users varies, so it´s useless to give you a number.
3) The premium offer is the only earn Rapidshare AG company has?
Yes, plus services for business users. But there is no advertisement on our site.
4) What you think about the “hacks” that someone use to bypass some limits of the free solution? Rapidshare “develop” countermisures?
We disapprove hacking of course and develop strategies against it.
5) In this “last version” of free service Rapidshare has deleted the captcha method, as im into web developing too just curious about why done it?
By eliminating the captchas we were able to simplify the use of RapidShare´s free services significantly. But we still had to protect RapidShare from congestion caused by automated downloading and did this by limiting the maximum download speed for free-users.
6) One click web file hosting vs P2P: Rapidshare (and the others) are becoming the best file sharing also over “traditional channels” like eMule, torrents etc…?
Since RapidShare operates in a different arena we can not comment on this, sorry.
7) What kind of control Rapidshare make on files hosted on it? Even if in the conditions of use it’s expressily forbbidden illegal content (copyrighted, pornography, etc…) many pirate/warez teams/people largely use Rapidshare and the others one click file hosting for this purpose. Think Rapidshare (and the others) “expand” the exchange of illegal files?
No we don´t. First of all, it is basically only the forbidden content, that’s visible on the internet. Our business clients do not make their confidential content publicly available and that’s one reason why people come to the conclusion that most of the content stored must be forbidden content. But if you add up all the links you find on the internet that might contain copyrighted material, it will still only be a very small fraction of what is stored on RapidShare servers, which have a capacity of more than 4,5 petabytes.
Secondly, there has been piracy long before the first file hosting platform was established. We think that people are willing to pay for music and services, if they get them in the right format for the right price. Apple iTunes has demonstrated that many people rather pay for music than steal it, as long as they can buy for example the single song they are looking for, instead of the whole album and as long as it´s easy to purchase. We believe that we would see less piracy if products and services were perfectly aligned to the users´ needs
Back to your first question, we eliminate content that violates law after the content owner has made us aware of it. It is not possible to pre-emptively control uploads. This is a very complicated measure, not only technically, but also regarding law.
8 ) A little preview about next “features” Rapidshare service (both for free and paid) will offer or has plan to do?
We are working on different projects. One example is the secure lock that we just introduced at the end of last year, adding additional security to the premium accounts. We have also introduced RapidShare awards and added some really cool products to the list. In future we want to expand services like RapidGames, which provides users with an additional site for downloading patches, trial versions and trailers, because it is used so heavily and the demand seems to be enormous. There are a lot more ideas, which we cannot talk about at the moment, but we will keep you updated.
9) The last question, more details about infrastructure? Nb. of direct employees, the hardware storage/servers…
* Founded in 2006
* Joint stock company by Suisse laws (not publicly listed)
* Business Segment: 1-click-hosting
* COO: Bobby Chang
* Website: www.rapidshare.com
* Listed on Alexa Top-100 websites of the world
* Redundant connectivity: more than 240 Gigb/s
* Carriers: Level 3 Communications, Cogent, TeliaSonera, VSNL International, Global Crossing, T-Systems
* Capable of serving up to 3 million users simultaneously
* Storage: more than 4,5 Petabytes
* Colocation in professional data center
* Use of proprietary software exclusively developed for high-volume 1-click-hosting
Service: 1-click hosting
* Easy to use
* Free service: distribute files too big to be sent by e-mail
* Premium service: additional features for higher comfort
* High-level security: links cannot be guessed, no search function on website
Additional Services: RapidGames
* Launched in June 2007
* Download of patches, trailers, demos, clients and additional material for popular games
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