Joost.com adds CHUM to its exclusive ‘invite’ list
MuchMusic, Space and FashionTelevision are on board for the launch of Joost.com, which is racking up deals with content owners around the globe in a bid to rule the Internet TV space. The service is built around a biz model that Google/YouTube has yet to meet - free for users, protection for content owners, and ad opps for marketers.
CHUM Television is getting in on the peer-to-peer online TV community promised by Joost.com in a revenue-sharing deal that will make a long list of shows and clips available to users when the site launches later this year.
CHUM’s MuchMusic, Space, FashionTelevision and CityLine brands will be part of the package. They’re not the first Canadian company to strike such a deal in what’s currently a test project by the founders of earlier peer-to-peer networks Skype and Kazaa. Alliance Atlantis’ international content distribution arm has reportedly signed on to provide 200 hours of science fiction programming to Joost.com.
Joost.com claims to be the world’s first global broadcast-quality free Internet television service, and the company is carefully positioning itself as the Internet video site that protects content providers and advertisers. The service is currently running in beta mode, which allows users to request a place on the waiting list to get access to the content – unless he or she can find another user to ‘invite’ them. The site aims to enhance the TV experience with Web 2.0 features, giving users the ability to send instant messages to each other while watching and use other community-driven tools. Currently, there are about 50,000 users involved in the beta test.
CHUM Television VP business development Maria Hale tells MiC Joost.com promises protection. ‘What Joost brought us that YouTube has not is the opportunity to protect and monetize the content – two very key things. It’s really about extending and growing our business overall. Taking that whole peer-to-peer experience and wrapping it into a business model, they allow us as broadcasters and content creators to monetize that experience.’
Out-of-the-gate, the Joost.com official launch (specific date unknown) will not be accompanied by any on-air promotional efforts by CHUM Television. As part of the rev-share deal, marketers and advertisers looking to get involved with CHUM Television properties and get in on Joost.com ‘would continue to go through us,’ says Hale.
‘This would be yet another offering that we can give as far as a comprehensive experience, not just a TV experience,’ she explains. ‘If you’re an advertiser, your first question is how many people are watching. As of today, we can say that number is very limited. But we expect it to grow very dramatically, and we’ll present it in CPMs, just like we would with any of the other properties.’
The majority of the CHUM content on Joost.com will come from MuchMusic, with properties like Live@Much, Intimate & Interactive, the MuchMusic Video Awards, MuchOnDemand, Much Talks, documentary shows, such as Music Is My Life and MuchAdrenaline. Space will offer segments from shows HypaToyz and From the Basement. FashionTelevision will include numerous full-length fashion features, along with episodes of Canada’s Next Top Model.
Joost.com made headlines in mid-February for inking a deal with Viacom, which seemed to favour the peer-to-peer-based site when talks with Google/YouTube broke down. Viacom president/CEO Philippe Dauman called Joost.com a breakthrough platform that, unlike other online video providers, ‘is built on a compelling and sustainable business model that respects both content creators and consumers.’
When Joost launches, Viacom’s MTV, VH1, BET and Paramount Pictures content will be well represented, including top titles past and present such as Laguna Beach, Beavis & Butthead, Real World and Punk’d, along with full-length episodes from Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, CMT, Logo, Spike TV and GameTrailers.com. Full-length feature films will come from Paramount Pictures’s Vantage and Classics portfolios.