In an AP report, Veoh founder Dmitry Shapiro confirms what the aforementioned Washington Post article alludes to: "the experience of online video is still very poor," which is precisely
what's driving companies like Shapiro's Veoh and Web TV rivals like Joost and Babelgum forward. Each is looking to provide a viewing experience that's as good as TV; each uses peer-to-peer technology
to circumvent the bandwidth limitations that plague the quality of the video experience in the U.S.
The business models of these P2P services are what set them apart. Joost, still in beta,
is looking to play it straight, striking content deals with Viacom, CBS, CNN and Sony. Founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis envision a video experience that marries on-demand TV viewing with
social media tools like IM chat. In its latest social media announcement
, Joost opened its application
programming interface to third-party developers, allowing them to create mini software programs, or widgets, to run inside the video application.
Veoh TV, on the other hand, bills
itself as a kind of "Google for video." Instead of waiting for content deals (although it is working on partnerships with major media companies and Hollywood studios), Veoh TV will crawl the Web to
bring all its available video to one place, similar to how Google brings news articles to Google News. Babelgum's business model is like Joost's, but its mainly focused on independent rather
than mainstream content. The company also plans to embed its platform in set-top boxes, similar to Apple TV.