After famously demanding that over 100,000 video clips be removed from Google-owned YouTube weeks back, Viacom has announced a distribution agreement with online video service Joost, which was created by the founders of Skype and formerly went by the name of The Venice Project. With the Viacom deal, Joost users will be privy to hours of content from Viacom networks like BET and MTV as well as Paramount Pictures, all for free.
A public battle with YouTube over copyright owners protection may have prompted the deal, since Google and Viacom failed to reach a distribution deal amongst themselves. The clips that were removed from YouTube were not authorized by Viacom, which is how the rift between the media companies initially started.
According to Reuters, Viacom, News Corp. and General Electric’s NBC Universal, among other top news corporations, have talked of launching a YouTube competitor website, but plans have been stalled due to differences in interest.
Traditional media companies are courting online users as viewers split their leisure time surfing the Web and digital media devices like Apple’s iPod.
Joost was founded by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis and was launched in January, offering file sharing technology over the Internet as well as video delivery to its users. Endemol and Warner Music Group also currently have deals with Joost.