Media conglomerate Viacom Inc. agreed Tuesday to license television shows and movies to Joost, the new online video distribution channel launched by the founders of Kazaa and Skype.
NEW YORK (AP) — Media conglomerate Viacom Inc. agreed Tuesday to license television shows and movies to Joost, the new online video distribution channel launched by the founders of Kazaa and Skype.
Under the deal, Viacom’s MTV, Nickelodeon and BET television networks and its Paramount studios will license shows and movies for the Joost Internet platform. This comes two weeks after Viacom pulled Comedy Central clips and other content from Google Inc.’s YouTube online video sharing service, citing copyright concerns.
Joost, founded by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, is still in testing. The service will allow free access to programs and channels in broadcast quality, supported by ads.
The Viacom arrangement marks the first big licensing deal for Joost, which promises to be a ”piracy-proof” distributor of regular episodic content rather than the individual clips that tend to make up YouTube uploads. Much like Skype and Kazaa _ which enraged the music industry because it enabled free trading of content _ Joost uses peer-to-peer technologies to distribute material. Joost also uses encryption and other methods to lock content down.
Viacom said some of the shows it will license include MTV’s ”Real World” and ”Beavis & Butthead,” and Comedy Central’s ”Freak Show and Stella.” Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said Joost was chosen for its interactive user experience and its ”business model that respects both content creators and consumers.”
Viacom shares were up 3 cents at $40.56 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.