I’ve been lucky enough to be one of the beta testers of Joost and I love it. Joost represents the future of television, or at least a long way towards getting to what television will evolve to be – a 100% on demand, consumer controlled, interactive, social experience. If you haven’t heard by now, Joost is the next great innovation from the team that brought us Kazaa and Skype. It’s in beta now but they’re working hard to get great content for the service.
All content on Joost is from studios not user-generated (like traditional television), and distribution is through P2P. At the moment, content on Joost is from specialty channels or programs (National Geographic, World’s Strongest Man, etc.), but a recent deal with Viacom should greatly improve the quality of programs and boost the popularity draw.
What makes Joost special is that you can choose what channel and what program you want to watch at any time, take advantage of interactive capabilities for each channel, and chat and socialize with other users in real time! The intent is to bring the social element of the web to television and it looks like they’ve taken a great first step.
There are 5 second advertising clips before and after shows and that looks to be a first step towards monetization. I’m not sure this will be enough of a attention-grabbing mechanism for advertisers, or provide enough revenue share to draw major content channels (although the Viacom deal is a promising sign – which I knew what the terms are!). It will be interesting to see what the revenue model becomes when Joost officially launches.
One thing is clear, as is a constant theme on this blog – as television evolves, and the consumer wins!