May 6, 2007
Joost Launches with Significant New Content Coming, Amid Crowded Online Video Market

On the first day of May, Joost officially announced the launch of its online video service. According to its initial press, the company will be running advertising from a total of 32 companies in its first month. TelevisionWeek highlights among its initial sponsors Nike, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, and Coca-Cola.

The online video service made the news a while back through its deal with Viacom, which was announced back in February. Viacom announced that television shows and music videos from Viacom properties would be distributed through Joost online, including "Paramount movies and various MTV Networks properties, including MTV, Comedy Central, BET, VH1, Nickelodeon, CMT, MTV2, Spike TV, Logo, mtvU, and"

At the time, I wrote, "If looking at this deal solely as further distribution, it can only be seen as a positive. The more ways that Viacom can make its content available in as many was as possible gives more chances for viewers to connect with Viacom material, which can only be a positive. Ubiquity of availability seems to be the new key for reaching the consumer."

I think this proliferation of platforms to view content is empowering for consumers, giving them the chance to have more autonomy in where and how they view their entertainment content. As these deals continue to be struck, it's a win for both companies, perhaps, but for viewers as well.

As I pointed out with the NBCU/News Corp. venture yesterday, though, these sites are not comparable to YouTube because that is comparing apples to oranges, but they are still powerful in different ways.

Another C3 partner, Turner Broadcasting, will be making a significant amount of content available through Joost later this week, including content from CNN and Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. Sony Pictures Television, Sports Illustrated, Hasbro, and the NHL has content following later in May, according to Daisy Whitney's TV Week article.

Joost has gotten quite a bit of press, so it will be interesting to see how it fares in the competitive pool with a growing number of online video platforms. Look at recent stories on Veoh and Next New Networks, for instance.