Joost: "world's first online global tv distribution platform"

Joost LogoI mentioned The Venice Project here early last month, a mysterious online TV platform that is in beta. Well, now they’ve changed their name and have announced a major partnership with Viacom:

Today we’re announcing a major partnership with Viacom. Which will bring programming and lots of channels from Viacom’s key brands and properties available on Joost on our imminent launch.

MTV will offer popular shows, both past and present, including Laguna Beach, Beavis & Butthead, Real World, Punk’d and My Super Sweet Sixteen, while COMEDY CENTRAL will feature episodes from Stella, CCP’s and Freak Show. Nickelodeon, CMT: Country Music Television, MTV2, Logo, Spike TV, mtvU, and will also provide content.  VH1’s offerings will include episodes of Flavor of Love, Surreal Life, and I Love New York. BET’s Networks’ offerings will include some of its biggest shows, including Beef, DMX: Soul of a Man, Comic View and recent smash hit American Gangster.  Also, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage and Paramount Classics will be providing full-length feature films from its catalog of classics and recent releases.

And here is some more info about what is does:

Joost will allow users to have free access to thousands of programs and channels not readily available on the Web. Through Joost, viewers can watch programming from many of Viacom’s brands on their computers through a customizable platform with advanced television viewing features such as links that lead to more information or related websites based on the content; and a variety of plug-in applications, such as instant messaging, message boards, and news tickers.

Currently available in limited beta, Joost combines the best of TV and the best of the Internet by offering viewers a unique, TV-like experience enhanced with the choice, control and flexibility of Web 2.0. Joost is the first online, global TV distribution platform, bringing together advertisers, content owners and viewers in an interactive, community-driven environment. Joost can be accessed with a broadband Internet connection and offers broadcast-quality content to viewers for free.

They’ve opened up their Beta again, so anyone can apply. One of the things that I really like about this project is that it is providing TV content globally. This is so needed and will facilitate alot more well designed ‘extended experiences’. The problem at present is the many extended experiences (alternate reality games, enhanced TV sites, web quests, treasure hunts etc) are accessible globally, but the property they are extending usually isn’t. Now, there are ways to work around that legally, illegally and half-legally (don’t ask me for details, just trust me on that one), but due to licensing restrictions, most are controlled. Some creators of these extended experiences design them well and some don’t. I’ll talk about one that doesn’t in my next post

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