Online video site Joost launches

Joost-1Joost, the streaming video site that has been getting a lot of buzz lately, officially launched today. The date came later than expected (earlier we reported the site would launch in June), but the previously invite-only Joost beta 1.0 is now open to the public.

Prior to today’s release into the wild, the site already had a sizable user base (over one million private sign ups), making it less likely to see a quick hockey stick movement in registered user numbers — although, in Web 2.0, we know anything can happen.

From presentation to functionality to content, Joost simulates a real television viewing experience. Unlike YouTube’s small viewing windows and search engine-esque layout, Joost defaults to a full screen viewing mode from within which users can access video controls and browse video “channels.” The company has made a few high-profile content deals: Joost secured a contract with Viacom in February to give the site access to shows from MTV, BET and Comedy Central. Other networks the company has licensing deals with are CBS, CNN, Major League Baseball and the NHL. However, while the quality of Joost’s content is above average, the quantity leaves something to be desired. After all, all of these licensing deals combined would only be the equivalent of having a TV with just 7 channels on it. While shows from these networks don’t make up all of the content found on Joost, the site doesn’t come close to having a library nearly as deep as YouTube’s. Joost needs to leverage their current momentum to solidify more broadcast agreements.

Joost’s founders are Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, previous creators of Kazaa and Skype, who received a portion of the $2.6 billion eBay-Skype acquisition that they used to fund development of the internet TV site. Joost runs on peer-to-peer technology (P2PTV) provided by the same company that developed Skypes’.

800Px-Joost 03-Blog Otf Myj


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