Well I got Joost last weekend. Joost is a new broadband video service. When you read the credentials of this out fit you have to sit up and take notice. Joost was co-founded by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom. The entrepreneurs who created Kazaa, the file-sharing music service, and then developed Skype, the Internet telephone system. In 2005, eBay bought Skype for $2.6 billion. Now that is a pretty impressive resume. As I recall to escape from a very hot and heavy lawsuit against Kazaa these guys dipped into their own pockets and paid a $100,000,000 fine. Yes one hundred million!

Joost is basically cable TV on your computer. Old hat, I hear you say. Well no this is not, it is very exciting and very ‘bleeding edge’. They have designed an entire architecture to support the streaming, and it makes YouTube look like the Black And White TV sets of the 1960’s.

Joost is in beta at the moment and not accepting new users, unless you can find someone to recommend you. I put on my very best ‘Reviewers Hat’, and a couple of days of emailing got me the coveted invite.

The channel lineup at the moment is a little on the thin side, but if I was to tell you that CBS and Viacom plus 3 other significant content creators have invested $45 Million in Joost, you can see that the big muscle is interested.

I suspect that Joost is the right vehicle at the right time. There has been much grumbling about the cable industry, content providers are unhappy with the cable providers stranglehold on channel allocation and placement, and consumers are annoyed at having a $100 bill every month for access to 200 channels and nothing to watch.

As with any endeavor of this magnitude there are some startup problems. I tried Joost on 3 computers at home, one worked flawlessly, one crashed, and one was Ho Hum. On the bright side, when Joost works it works fabulously. I was so impressed with the quality of the streaming video, it was far superior to anything offered elsewhere.

Watch this company, it is going far.

Simon Barrett


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