RealTime IT News

Joost Rakes In More Video Content

Online video newcomer Joost announced a deal today that will help it overcome its biggest obstacle: lack of content.

The company will partner with Toronto-based JumpTV to add portions of its library of video-on-demand television content from 70 countries to its platform. A Spanish-language series, along with Arab comedy and Middle East news kick off the deal.

The video content company, which offers subscription or advertising-supported television, said it will add other languages, including Romanian, Turkish, Russian and Bengali.

"This helps open the product to a global audience," a Joost spokesperson told internetnews.com, and added that similar content deals are in the works, though refused to offer specifics.

This is the second such deal Joost has made with a content provider. The company last month signed a deal with Viacom to broadcast its video content, which comes from such places as MTV Networks, BET Networks and Paramount Pictures. Only weeks before, Viacom demanded video-sharing site YouTube remove 100,000 clips after the two companies failed to reach a distribution agreement.

Whereas YouTube streams user-generated video stored on its own servers and often finds itself in hot water over copyright infringement questions, Joost gives its content partners much more control by streaming content provided by companies, a spokesperson said.

"They are completely reliant on their content providers," Yankee Group analyst Anton Denissov said of Joost. Although users can recommend videos online, they can't share videos or download videos.

Compared to Joost, which offers 20-minute professionally created videos, YouTube is a "video snack for people wanting to kill a few minutes," Denissov told internetnews.com.

YouTube might be finally getting the video picture. Today it announced a deal with the BBC and BBC Worldwide to show clips of new shows, as well as promotional material from television series. According to YouTube, users will be able to comment on and rate clips, as well as forward them to contacts.

However, YouTube is faced with two bad choices: either tighten video sharing and alienate users accustomed to the Wild West atmosphere or lose the remaining content providers. YouTube won't survive in its current form, Dennisov said.