Posted October 2, 2007 8:38 pm by with 6 comments

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The founders of Skype may not have a job at eBay, but they have reached an important milestone with internet TV service Joost. After two years, the site is out of beta. They aren’t planning a big marketing push to announce the change. They say that they’ve gotten so much media coverage they can count on word of mouth.

Joost got 1.5 million sign-ups, during their invite-only beta stage. This is version 1, and it’s still in beta, but now open to the public (as of yesterday). After so much hype, they have been very low key. They waited for people to notice. The only announcement to let you know anything has changed is with a low key post on the forum. That doesn’t seem like a good idea. Not even a press release?

Like Skype calls on eBay, it doesn’t seem to be sticking yet. Figures I read said only about 10 percent of the testers are currently active on the site.

They hope to make the service more viral by opening the API. Developers will be able to make custom widgets and other programs to enhance and share content on the site. Hopefully, like YouTube it will be easy to add clips or shows to your blog or Facebook profile.

Joost combines elements of traditional TV, with channels but it’s online and has chat and search by keyword. As opposed to YouTube, the site offers commercial TV shows and movies. They have better quality and the shows are full screen.

They have more than 15,000 shows so far and they’re all free and supported by advertising. They say there are shows from CBS, Major League Baseball, MTV, Turner, and Comedy Central.

Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis – who started Joost, also founded Kazaa, a P2P music service.

  • Thanks for talking about this service!

    I just downloaded the Joost application for MacOS X (on my new iMac 2.4 GHz) and I’m impressed with the smoothness and quality of the streamed video content.

    Of course, high-speed internet is a must for an enjoyable experience.

    If you don’t have satellite (or cable) TV, like university students, this “television content treasure chest” is quite entertaining… and free!

    Furthermore, it’s “fun”…

  • I signed up for the beta and have been using joost for some time now. It’s an amazing application and I look forward to using it in the future.

    Great article.

  • With 1.5 million users already, I don’t really think they need to announce that they are going public. By a ‘low key’ opening, the idea is to create even more hype (through popular blogs like this one), which spreads the word far faster than press releases. [or so they hope]

  • It might have been low key, but I picked up on it and blogged about it. Ok, I’m just a drop in the ocean, but Joost has always been exploiting the long-tail rather than hitting people between the eyes.

    From an infrastructure point of view, it also means that your service doesn’t get hit with an increased service requests a magnitude larger than what it’s used to, but ramps up gradually as more people find out about the service.

  • By a ‘low key’ opening, the idea is to create even more hype (through popular blogs like this one), which spreads the word far faster than press releases.

  • I have been inundated with phone calls and emails about the low key launch. What a way to launch. The package offered is too good and word of mouth is doing for it what no major launch could have done for it.