Tuesday, May 8, 2007


Joost (pronounced Juiced) has been signing deals left and right with everyone from Viacom to CBS to independent filmmakers to now Heavy.com (via Mashable). It's being billed as "a new way to watch TV" bringing the best parts of the Internet (social networking, time shifting, etc), together with the best parts of TV (high production quality and quality content). Joost created by the founders of Kazaa and Skype (in other words pretty smart guys), could be the next YouTube killer? While Joost doesn't support user generated content (yet?) most of YouTube's traffic or at least a consistent portion of it comes from YouTube partners like CBS, NBA, and other established brands and Joost could be taking a large portion of those eyeballs away especially since YouTube's quality has been criticized as of late.

I think that as an audience we seek a more interactive user experience. On one hand we have traditional television where we simply watch. The most interactivity we have is by flipping channels. On the other hand we have video games where we are essentially watching a movie but one in which we are making a decision every fraction of a second. The trend appears to be toward the latter, as we see an explosive upward trend in video games and a gradual downward slope in TV. However, to graduate everything to a video game would be much to extreme and I think that Joost will do a great job in letting people understand that if they are interested in the t-shirt that Matt Fox from Lost is wearing, they can pause the show and purchase it in real time and then go back to watching. Further the social aspect of TV watching will have content creators spinning even more elaborate webs than the ones in 24 or Lost, which will engage audiences. Ad model here? I'm not sure, I think that Joost will probably provide some type of interactive commercial as opposed to the traditional 30 second ad spot. Perhaps Joost can even provide some more power to the almost dead Bud.tv?

Keep an eye on this space as I can't wait to download my Joost trial now!

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