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Joost with 1 million users ready for year-end launch

Joost, the peer-to-peer TV sharing application from the inventors of Skype and Kazaa, has signed up more than a million beta testers and is on track for an end-of-year launch, its co-creator has revealed.

Speaking at a Skype press event in Tallinn, Estonia, Skype CEO and Joost co-founder Niklas Zennström said that the service, launched in late 2006 and formerly codenamed ‘The Venice Project’, was currently being tested by a million users. The figure marks the first time Joost has disclosed the audience for its service.

Joost aims to provide a YouTube-like video sharing experience, but with authorised content, advertiser support and a peer-to-peer model for content sharing. The use of P2P has underpinned all of Zennstrom’s ventures, from the now-moribund file sharing service Kazaa to the massively successful Skype, which has attracted 220 million users to its free Internet calls service.

Joost has been funded by Zennström and cofounder Janus Friis using the money they received following Skype’s sale to eBay in 2006. So far, the service has signed up a number of content providers and “around 30 Tier 1 advertisers”, Zennström said.

“The plan is that the service will be fully launched later this year,” he added, though he declined to specify an exact date. As Joost’s user base grows, ensuring speedy delivery of content will become a greater challenge.

Ensuring the service works simply despite its complex underpinnings will also be a major consideration, a problem which Zennström also sees as an ongoing issue for Skype.

“Ease of use is such an important thing for us,” he said. “Ultimately, you want everything as simple as possible.”

Joost, Peer-to-peer TV, Online TV, Online Channels

Source:? APC Magazine

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