Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, the duo that brought the world Skype and Kazaa, have chosen a name for their new online-video start-up.
The two want people hungry for Internet entertainment to roost at Joost.
Company executives had referred to the new company for months by the codename "The Venice Project." They chose Joost because they like the ring of it, according to a spokeswoman. The word doesn't have any meaning in Danish or Swedish--Friis' and Zennstrom's respective native tongues.
The plan, according to Joost CEO Fredrik de Wahl, is to offer studios, cable stations and anyone else who wants to distribute high-quality video over the Internet, a fast, efficient and cheap distribution method. To do this, the company will rely on the peer-to-peer technology that helped Friis and Zennstrom build Skype and Kazaa.
Their sparkling track record of creating hit companies aside, Friis and Zennstrom face a crowded field of competitors, such as YouTube and Apple, which are already well on their way to establishing themselves as video-distribution platforms.
Most importantly, Joost has yet to strike any marquee partnerships with top film or TV producers. Without them, their challenge is a tough one: convincing studio executives and the like to turn over their content to Joost when the company has yet to attract a big audience.