“Joost, previously known as the Venice Project, has been generating hype ever since the project was announced last July. The P2P video streaming service entered private beta mode in December of last year but only recently seeded a small number of beta versions of the Mac software to the beta community. Over the weekend, however, Joost finally opened up the private beta to Mac users with the 0.8 version of their software,” Jacqui Cheng reports for Ars Technica.
“Joost for OS X is only compatible with Intel-based Macs right now, which means that beta testers can’t test it out on older PPC hardware. I’ve been running it on my 2GHz MacBook with 1.5GB of RAM,” Cheng notes.
Cheng reports, “All in all, the Mac client is a near replica of the Windows client, with the exception of [some] flaws (most of which are already known): text spacing issues, slow startup times, and odd dock behavior. Joost provided a good Mac experience, with no real navigational or functionality problems to speak of. The only complaint about Joost—which is more of the service than the Mac client—would be that there is currently a very limited selection of content for beta testers to watch. If other studios and networks follow Viacom’s lead in putting their (old and new) content onto Joost, however, the service could very well take off.”
Full article with more details and screenshots here.
Viacom’s press release verbatim:
Viacom To Be Key Content Partner With Joost, The World’s First Online Global TV Distribution Platform
Popular Programming From MTV Networks, BET Networks And Paramount Pictures Will Be Available For Joost’s Launch
Viacom Inc., a leading global entertainment company, and Joost (http://www.joost.com), the world’s first broadcast-quality Internet television service, announced today that Viacom will be a key content partner and will offer a full range of brands and programming for free to consumers on the innovative Joost distribution platform. Under the agreement, Viacom’s divisions – MTV Networks, BET Networks and Paramount Pictures – will provide television and theatrical programming on the Joost platform. Founded by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, Joost is powered by a secure, efficient, piracy-proof Internet platform that enables premium interactive video experiences while guaranteeing copyright protection for content owners and creators. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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.
“We’re extremely pleased to be working with Joost, and couldn’t be prouder to be a key partner in the launch of the next generation in broadband video technology,” said Philippe Dauman, Viacom President and Chief Executive Officer. “We have the number one portfolio of entertainment sites in the world and unrivaled distribution on mobile devices, but we’re determined to keep pushing and growing our digital presence and bring our programming to audiences on every platform and device that they want. In addition to strong partnerships we have with traditional distributors, we will continue to seek out partners like Joost, which has created an exciting breakthrough platform that represents not only a fantastic user experience, but one that is built on a compelling and sustainable business model that respects both content creators and consumers.”
Janus Friis, founder of Joost said, “We built this platform from the ground up, with companies like Viacom in mind. Our platform provides scalable distribution, in a completely safe environment that protects the interest of content owners and advertisers, while delighting viewers. We’re extremely excited about this partnership and look forward to enabling Viacom to reach new audiences for its new and classic programming.”
Yvette Alberdingkthijm, executive vice president, content strategy and acquisition for Joost said, “Viacom’s properties are perfectly suited to Joost. We’re thrilled to be a part of Viacom’s digital strategy.”
MTV Networks will provide premier content from several of its brands for 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 Gametrailers.com 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 their catalog of classics and recent releases.