We’ve all been hearing the hype about Joost for months now. The broadband video service has been hailed as both the future of television and the ultimate YouTube killer. New ventures seldom live up to such high expectations when they’re finally launched. Joost may be one of those rare services that actually delivers on the most of what it promises.
I’ve been playing around with the Joost closed beta for a little over a month now and I have to say that I’m generally impressed. Of all of broadband video services I’ve seen Joost seems like it has the most potential to have a major impact on the future of television. However, I’m not convinced that Joost is a YouTube killer. While YouTube facilitates user-generated video content, Joost is more about traditional network programming presented in the framework of a social web application. It’s that approach that makes Joost closer to Television 2.0 than anything I’ve seen to date.
From the beginning Joost has made an effort to forge partnerships with major content providers. The service has deals with a large and growing number of affiliated networks including MTV, Comedy Central, The Cartoon Network, and Warner Brothers Records. You can even watch the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition on Demand (which I tested to make sure that Joost’s age verification system is working properly — I call that research).
Joost’s slogan is “TV anywhere, anytime”. That’s mostly true, provided you don’t want to watch TV on a portable device, or your television for that matter. As you would expect, the deals with major content owners means that the service is locked down with DRM. But in a manner similar to Jaman, the DRM is minimally invasive and the service is compatible with both Mac OSX and Windows. Plus the DRM pill is easier to swallow when the video content is reasonably priced or, better yet, free. Joost content is currently advertising supported — although I’ve only seen a few ads to date.
Joost is now in open beta and we’re happy to offer Medialoper readers an invitation to try the service. Just send an email to [email protected] with your name and email address and we’ll send you an invitation asap. Please be assured we’re not collecting email addresses. The information you send us will be used for the Joost invitation and nothing else.
Give Joost a try and let us know what you think.