Around the Net

Joost Founders: We're Going After Cable TV, Not YouTube

In a past life, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis made a habit out of producing disruptive technologies. Co-founders of the controversial software programs Skype, a free Web-based phone service they sold to eBay for $2.6 billion, and KaZaa, the peer-to-peer service that enabled millions of users to trade music and other media files illegally, Zennstrom and Friis have decided to play it safe with their latest creation: the Web TV service Joost. Why? "We don't want to be in a long, multiyear litigation battle," Friis said.

Still in its infancy, Joost aims to take the best elements of the Web 2.0 movement: user-produced video, content sharing and social networking, and apply them to Web-based TV. It also seeks licensing, revenue and content sharing deals -- something unimaginable for a file-sharing service a few years ago. Now, Viacom, owner of MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, Spike TV and other cable networks popular with the 18-34 crowd, has agreed to broadcast its programs on the fledgling TV service.

The deal involves ad-revenue sharing, and it also gives the media giant a degree of control over its programming that Google and YouTube would not. Even so, the co-founders claim that Joost isn't a direct competitor with YouTube; they cite cable TV instead. They also claims Joost's technology is piracy and copyright-infringement proof.



Read the whole story at The New York Times »

Next story loading loading..