Joost gathers steam for public launch

The free, peer-to-peer streaming TV service spearheaded by the founders of KaZaA and Skype is scheduled to launch publicly some time this month, according to an Associated Press report on Yahoo News.

In an effort to gather content for the launch, Joost entered several new distribution agreements today, including one with Turner Broadcasting System that will allow the service to show CNN news, interviews, and programs like Larry King Live. The deal will also enable Joost to show Adult Swim programming including Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Robot Chicken. But Turner isn’t the only company Joost signed with today. Indeed, the Associated Press says Joost has entered agreements with Sony, whereby it will show Starsky & Hutch and Charlie’s Angels episodes, as well as Sports Illustrated and Hasbro. Viacom, the Warner Music Group, and CBS have already signed up with Joost, as well.

Joost, which was previously known as the Venice Project, seeks to do to TV what Skype did to telephony. The service streams relatively high quality video for free thanks to a peer-to-peer content distribution system and advertisements from companies like Coca-Cola, Nike, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Sony, and Visa. The people behind Joost haven’t yet decided exactly how the service will display ads, but they say there will be “less advertising than on regular TV.”

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