CANNES — Joost unveiled its revamped online video on demand service at Mipcom Tuesday, which it says is more accessible and interactive.
Utilizing Flash software, the free download service features social networking tools to help users navigate the content, which the company claims is the world’s largest online library of legal video programming.
The website provides different ways that users can interact with each other, give their opinions and recommendations, and form friendship groups based around their programming and artist preferences.
Speaking to Daily Variety in Cannes, Joost’s global head of programming, Danny Passman, said one of his objectives was to make the content more relevant, with videos linked to current events placed centre stage on the site.
He said it would also be more fun to use, including a “shout” function that enables users to voice their opinions in a more expressive way than the star systems often found on other sites.
“The vibe that we are going for is non-corporate,” Passman said. “Because of the social features, the users are able to customize their environment and make it their own.
“The cool thing about the ‘shout’ function is that it is a fun way to leave your mark on a video and react to it. It is about having an emotional connection to a video.”
The service also introduces JoostFeed, which can provide a link with social networking websites, such as Facebook.
Joost also has introduced a programming guide, which organizes content into three categories: shows, music and film. Shows are divided into nine main genres, and then further classified into subgenres.
Joost, which was set up in October 2007 by Skype and Kazaa founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, is growing at some speed. Since the start of this year, the number of videos available has almost doubled, while the number of hours has jumped by more than 50%. It has more than 46,000 professionally produced videos, including more than 18,000 music videos, totalling more than 8,000 hours of entertainment.
Joost’s content suppliers include CBS, CNN, Showtime, Viacom, Sony Pictures Television and the Warner Bros. Television Group.
The site is advertising funded, with suppliers entering into a revenue sharing agreement.