Tuesday, April 10, 2007


The online video space has become crowded in the last year or so, with several companies offering user-generated content. User-generated material is great, but it just doesn’t stack up against the big producers in terms of overall quality and enjoyment. The popularity of this content comes from the fact that it is free to publishers and they are really seeking to maximize pageviews rather than an optimal media experience. Don’t get me wrong—a lot of the stuff on YouTube is extremely creative and is enabling a wider distribution of independent productions such as Lonelygirl15 that deserve the airtime. The truth, however, about user-generated material is that most of the content on there isn’t worth your time. Now comes Joost, from the creators of Skype and KaZaa, which promises to revolutionize video on the web…and it will.
Joost is an on-demand internet TV service with premium content. Founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis have revolutionized how we communicate and share information with each other. Funding for Joost comes from the $2.6 billion they got from eBay in 2005 after the Skype acquisition. Earlier this year Viacom agreed to provide much of their content for the Joost disribution platform, including MTV, BET, and Paramount stuff. Overall, we give Joost a thumbs up, as it incorporates rich highly-produced old-media content with the power of the web, using both chat and search functionality. On the negative side, we couldn’t get some of the widgets to work and it generally takes up a lot of bandwidth, making it hard to run on wireless with other users. Check out some screenshots below.


Chris Finlayson said...

Hey Will, I finally joined you as a blogger. Felt like it was time going to Silicon Valley and all. Check it out a Oh, and I agree that Joost is probably not revolutionary. It's just TV ported to the web. If I wanted to what TV I have one next to be couch.