May 1, 2007 8:12 AM PDT

Joost goes one beta better

Joost, the video-on-demand program created by the founders of Skype and Kazaa, announced its commercial launch on Tuesday.

The software, which is based on a peer-to-peer model, is no longer in a private beta test, according to a release from the company. Existing beta testers, who now need to upgrade to a new version of the program, can invite an unlimited number of people to download the Joost console.

The latest version of the software includes commercial content from 32 advertising partners, such as Coca-Cola, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Nike, whose partnerships with Joost were announced earlier this week.

Despite the expanded availability and commercial partnerships, the new version of Joost is still considered to be a beta test. The service remains free.

Joost also announced a number of content offerings on Tuesday that are included in new partnerships with Turner Broadcasting System, the National Hockey League, Sports Illustrated, Hasbro and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The Turner content, which will be available later this week on Joost, comes primarily from the company's Adult Swim and CNN properties: documentaries from CNN Productions, news programs such as Anderson Cooper 360, and Adult Swim cartoons (from Cartoon Network) like Robot Chicken and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Additionally, CNN's RSS feed has been added to the Joost news ticker for breaking news.

Content from the other four new partnerships will become available on Joost over the course of the month, the company said. Most of it is focused on "classic programming": Sony Pictures Television will provide vintage TV shows like Starsky & Hutch and Charlie's Angels, and Hasbro will offer two channels based on the Transformers and G.I. Joe animated series from the 1980s.

The NHL partnership, likewise, is set to initially feature classic-game footage, but later this spring, it is also set to provide full Stanley Cup game replays and playoff highlights. Sports Illustrated's content, meanwhile, is set to focus on video and interviews from the creation of this year's swimsuit issue.

Joost's channel availability varies around the world in conjunction with copyright ownership regulations.

Formerly known by its code name, "The Venice Project," Joost launched earlier this year amid much hype. The start-up has already inked a number of other partnerships, ranging from those with major media players like Viacom and CBS to small independent production companies.

See more CNET content tagged:
Turner Broadcasting System Inc., Sports Illustrated, Sony Pictures, Hasbro Inc., CNN

6 comments

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I've been Joost!
I really like it. I just wish there was more mainstream content. I
totally wouln't mind having more adds in my face so that I could
watch some of the bigger networks on here. I already have to
watch commercials when I watch TV anyway. Give me one good
reason to ditch cable and I am gone for good!
Posted by Zatoichis Sword (29 comments )
Reply Link Flag
well....
can I get an invite so I can check it out myself? please...
Posted by dondarko (261 comments )
Link Flag
invite
Please send me an invite to test it out. THX testing-54321 at hotmail.com
Posted by uncle-bob (1 comment )
Link Flag
Bad performance?
I have yet to get Joost to provide any kind of decent performance for me, at least that I would consider "watchable".

Mind you, I'm using beta software on beta Vista (RC1), so that may have an impact ;) (Joost never claims to work on DirectX10).
Posted by DraconumPB (229 comments )
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Glutin
Dude, if using Vista isn't bad enough, you're doing beta Joost too!? Ick.
Posted by Schratboy (122 comments )
Link Flag
Begging for an invite
I like the idea. I'm a college student and my roommate and I have very limited cable (channels 1-17)cause we really can't afford basic cable and the thought of being able to watch robot chicken while on the net sounds good to me but I can't really say till I try it myself. So please I beg someone to send me an invite. As Tom and Veronica said on Buzz Out Loud "Please my I have some joost"
Posted by enomic (5 comments )
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