CBS and viacom are putting their money where their video is. Both have taken equity stakes in Joost, the online TV service launched by the creators of Skype and Kazaa. In May, Joost raised $45 million in venture capital from backers such as Index Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and Li Ka-shing, chairman of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. and Cheung Kong Holdings.
Unlike the copyright issues that Joost’s founders ran into with file-sharing service Kazaa, Joost is licensing video content in above-board deals. CBS and Viacom are two of the major companies that have previously forged programming deals with Joost, which now has 150 channels of video.
Joost also recently announced signing up 31 big-brand advertisers including Proctor & Gamble, Nike, Coca-Cola and GM.
The difference between Joost and most other video services is that it uses peer-to-peer technology, which shares not just files, but computing power and bandwidth. The more people that use Joost, the better quality the video will be.