Viacom and YouTube really, truly break up
Boy did negotiations for a licensing deal between Viacom (VIA) and YouTube fall apart. Earlier this month, Viacom asked YouTube to take down 100,000 clips of copyrighted programming. Today there's news that Viacom -- purveyor of 18-35 demo favorites like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report -- is taking all its content over to Joost.
Okay, so who and what is Joost? Brought to you by the same folks who created Skype and Kazaa, it's another online video service - although the major difference from YouTube is that the company aspires to be a real alternative to TV. And it does it with peer-sharing technology, not hunks of data streaming one way from the source. From the Wall Street Journal article: "Unlike YouTube, which carries mostly short video clips uploaded by users, Joost's strategy is to run full episodes with high-quality resolution. 'What we're trying to do is real TV online,' Mr. Friis said in an interview." So no home-brewed videos. Just the commercial stuff.
As far as the Browser can tell, the sticking point for Viacom with regards to YouTube /Google (GOOG) was that YouTube couldn't guarantee any kind of copyright protection for Viacom's shows. One reason, YouTube says, is that it simply doesn't have the technology yet to filter everything that goes up on the site.
But a lot of questions remain here: If it's true that Joost is giving Viacom two-thirds of related advertising revenue, was the problem copyright-protection technology -- or was Google unwilling to agree to those revenue terms? And let's not forget how ridiculously new Joost is. Until as recently as January, it was known only by its development name, The Venice Project. And it's still in Beta form.
An old-school, giant media company handing much of its online future to a nascent, barely-released internet service? That's how frustrated Viacom felt about YouTube.
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