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A Financial Boost for Joost

Joost’s new round of funding demonstrates just how strong the company plans on coming out of the gates, with their pending launch of a high-quality online video service.

Anytime you can get Index Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Li Ka Shing Foundation, CBS Corporation and Viacom to collectively invest $45 million into a company, it says a lot about said company.

Roelof Botha, general partner, Sequoia Capital, [said], “Feature length video on the Internet has been long on promise and short on delivery for some time. Full screen commercial content delivered online has simply not been compelling for the viewer and has been far too costly for the content owners. Joost allows content owners to reach audiences of any size at any time where the viewer can ‘lean back’ to enjoy an immersive yet interactive video experience. At the same time, Joost enables brand marketers to efficiently deliver precisely targeted and measurable advertisements. This ability poises the company to expand the video distribution business and capture an enormous market opportunity.”

Joost Expands Video Content Partners

I’ve not actually seen Joost yet, so can’t actually tell you if it’s actually living up to the hype, or not, but they’vesecured another content providerr – Warner Brothers.

Warner Bros. Television Group (WBTVG) will bring program offerings, including WBTV: SCI-FI FIX and WBTV: Before They Were Mega Stars, to Joost on an exclusive basis. This marks the first time that WBTVG will launch Warner Bros.-branded programming services online.

So if you’re a fan of Aquaman, Babylon 5, Max Headroom or The Wayans Bros., it’s your lucky day!

And, if you’re looking for quality marketing videos, you could always head over to MarketingPilgrim.TV – and while you’re there, could you upload some quality marketing videos, so that my last statement is true? Thanks!

Hat-tip, TC.

YouTube Expands Advertising Partnership Program

Google’s YouTube has announced the expansion of their partnership program to include many popular video content creators. The move seeks to offer a way for popular videos to monetize their popularity, by sharing in some of the revenue YouTube collects from AdSense ads.

Participating user-partners will be treated as other content partners and will have the ability to control the monetization of the videos they create. Once they’ve selected a video to be monetized, we’ll place advertising adjacent to their content so participating user-partners can reap the rewards from their work.

Before you start fantasising about the hundreds of pennys you’ll surely make from that video fo Granny’s teeth falling out, you should know that the program is not open to all, just a select invited few.

45% of Europeans Watching Television Via the Web?

It’s hard to believe, but according to a Motorola study, discovered by TechCrunch, almost half of broadband users in Europe, watch TV online.

2,500 people were interviewed with 45% saying they were watching some television shows online, with the French leading the way.

“Viewers across Europe are no longer satisfied with fitting into schedules dictated by broadcasters and are turning to the choice and flexibility offered by TV over the internet,” said Motorola’s Karl Elliott.

Not noticed by TechCrunch is that the survey suggest 45% of broadband users are watching TV online. Throw in those that still use dial-up and the number shrinks a lot. Also, no details on how much broadband TV they actually watch online. Does watching 10 minutes of EastEnders on your computer, qualify you to be part of the 45%?

Oprah’s Video of the Googleplex

“There’s a lot of geeks here – geeks like to be with other geeks.”

Just one of the sound bites from Oprah’s feature on what it’s like to work at Google.

Hat-tip Nathan.

Viral Video: Is It Worth It?

Marketing Sherpa and the Online Publishers Association took a look at viral video. Video is a popular marketing tactic, with 29% of MarketingSherpa’s responding viral marketers experiencing “great results.” Only “cool” microsites (37% great results) and online games/quizzes/polls (33% great results) were better received.

The OPA, though, held more dismal news for viral video. Less than 10% of online video viewers (US only) said that they frequently recommend videos to their friends. 29% did so occasionally and an impressive 62% rarely or never recommended videos.

As eMarketer senior analyst David Hallerman points out, that 9% who frequently recommends videos may be the very influencers viral marketing hopes to reach.

Sony Becomes YouTube’s Latest Rival

It seems like everyone wants to own their own video sharing site – even Marketing Pilgrim has one! Now we learn that Sony is the latest company to lay down the gauntlet at the feet of Google’s YouTube video site.

Sony’s new offering, called eyeVio, will initially launch in Japan and users will be able to select who can view the videos and for how long.

Sony hopes that, if successful, it will be able to generate revenue from advertising and may consider expanding the service to other countries.