Now Joost has signed up JumpTV, a move which scores Joost a wealth of content from around the world - perfect for taking on Google-owned YouTube in the non-English speaking markets. JumpTV has already done the hard work for Joost - it owns the rights to shows from TV networks in 70 countries and broadcasts it on the Internet, supported by ads and subscriptions, reports Business Week. Its target audience is expatriates and ethnic audiences interested in watching TV from their homelands. Australians might see JumpTV as the SBS of the internet.
Joost, formerly known as the Venice Project, is the work of Skype and Kazaa founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom. They've turned the internet on its head twice. If anyone has a chance to take on Google-backed YouTube and survive it's these guys. Joost uses peer-to-peer file sharing networks rather than central servers to deliver content. The service is still in beta, but is designed from the ground up to be a secure site working with content providers such as Viacom, rather than against them. The downside of this is Joost will chew up a lot more bandwidth for users than YouTube.
Meanwhile YouTube has signed up one of the world's biggest broadcasters in the BBC, but those looking forward to watching the best of British entertainment will be sorely disappointed. You won't see full episodes of BBC classics such as Red Dwarf or Doctor Who online, as the three-channel YouTube deal is only to showcase short clips of BBC news and entertainment.
The two entertainment channels, BBC and BBC Worldwide, will contain trailers, short features and short self-contained clips - up to six minutes long - taken from the BBC's archive. The third channel, BBC News, will be launched later this year and show about 30 news clips per day, reports BBC News.
The news follows Monday's announcement of a deal between YouTube and the NBA to create an "NBA Channel" on the site, offering game and behind-the-scenes footage. The agreement follows a similar deal between Google-owned YouTube and the National Hockey League late last year. Chelsea F.C. also recently became the first English Premiership football club to announce a deal with YouTube.
Sport is the killer application for Pay TV and, if the internet follows the same patterns then YouTube would appear to have a strong head start. Joost is shaping up to be a worthy contender, but it's going to need to get some sport under its belt if it wants a chance to challenge YouTube for the title.