Cold To Google, Viacom Partners With Joost

Cold To Google, Viacom Partners With Joost

The downloadable video playback application uses peer-to-peer technology to distribute video files in a secure environment.

Viacom Inc. today announced a content distribution partnership with Internet TV startup Joost, just weeks after the media giant's relationship with Google fell apart.

Under today's agreement, Viacom's MTV Networks, BET Networks, and Paramount Pictures will supply television and film content for Joost's supposedly "piracy-proof" online video platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Joost is a downloadable video playback application that uses peer-to-peer technology to distribute video files in a secure environment. The company was co-founded by Niklas Zennstrm and Janus Friis, who also co-founded Skype.

The Joost application is available for Microsoft Windows or Apple's Mac OS X (Intel hardware only) to select beta testers. A Linux version is in development.

Last August, Viacom's MTV announced that it was working with Google to distribute ad-supported content from MTV through Google's AdSense program for Web publishers. That arrangement represented a "time-capped test," according to a Google spokesperson, and has been discontinued.

Earlier this month, Viacom's relationship with Google suffered an abrupt reversal when Viacom, unsatisfied with Google's ability to police the posting of unauthorized content on YouTube, demanded the removal of more than 100,000 video clips to which it claimed ownership.
On the IP Democracy blog, Cynthia Brumfield, president of media research consulting firm Emerging Media Dynamics, observes that the Viacom/Joost deal represents a repudiation by major media companies of Google's approach to copyrighted content.

"There can be no doubt that this is a humbling piece of news to the Googlers who have managed to tick off most of the traditional media businesses with their purported hard-ball negotiations," says Brumfield. "Google, it is said, lobbed a veiled threat to Viacom (and other TV content providers) that it would not use its content protection system for filtering copyrighted video on YouTube works unless it had a deal in hand with the content provider."

Joost's future, however, remains far from assured. The company has to convince Internet users to download its application in order to view what's already more or less available in a Web browser through YouTube, not to mention a legion of similar sites and services. Content deals with the likes of Viacom may provide sufficient differentiation to make Joost popular, but there's a risk that content owners, in trading Google's reach for Joost's security, may end up shying away from their online audience.

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Anonymous said...


I think it is inevitable to seperate user generated and professional content for an online television service. That is “not a real loss to the world” - rather a major gain. Because despite the convenience of having one website for watching everything: There is so much needless and low quality content out there; and most of us will probably be really glad to watch some professionals again: No phone experiments, no home videos, no pong shots, no “takes a picture of himself every day”.

Paul Nicola said...

Hi Maxx,,

Sorry For the late reply,, changing my template has been giving me hell lately,,
The problem with “Joost” is the users bandwidth requirements. According to their blog, “The software downloads about 320MB per hour (as a maximum) and uploads up to 105 MB per hour.” We all should know by now that the P2P model is flawed and in reality how many of you out there will actually be able to meet their requirements? I tried and I know I can’t actually get those numbers with my 3Mb Charter connection,, Plus, you think bandwidth providers, who happen to also be the TV content delivery providers, are going to allow their pipes to be saturated with something that essentially allows customers to bypass their bread-and-butter service?