Sunday, July 29, 2007

TV is about to change forever

Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom are not new to this blog and no doubt they will appear again. But whereas their previous ventures are known to nearly all they remain relatively unknown. When you mention Kazza to music downloader’s, there is an instant recognition of a the pioneer of peer to peer file sharing. When you mention Sykpe, the fact that there are some people who are still not connected to this phenomenon of free internet telephony is a mystery. But today Janus and Niklas have moved onto Joost and a free broadband TV service.

Joost aspires to be a global TV network, free to enjoy and sponsored by advertising. No longer restricted to the small video window, or short YouTube clip, but full screen, higher quality with entire TV programmes and the ability to share with friends.

The trick is harder here as they have to get users watching, get content owners to supply and keep the advertisers involved. They have already signed up 800,000 in an invitation only phase. So success beckons or does it?

In many countries it looks likely to happen but the UK’s terrestrial companies have ganged up to for Project Kangaroo, which is trying to do for broadband what Freeview has done for digital TV. Interesting time with the Beebs iPlayer due out and the other channels all make their offerings. Somehow I think this duo will still achieve much and are the ones to watch.