Less than a month ago, Gizmodo made this claim about Joost (then The Venice Project): This is Going to Kill You Tube. Since then I've been trying to figure out if this is really the case. The recent Wired News article Why Joost is Good For TV helped me with a little perspective.
It seems to me that Joost is much more about creating a new TV experience than another outlet for user generated video content. This quote from the article is pivotal.
Paradoxically, one thing ZennstrÃ¶m and Friis don't particularly want is user-generated content. That's partly tactical, a way to differentiate their new baby from YouTube. But they've also learned -- the hard way -- about the risks of letting the audience upload protected material.
While they do say that the goal is to let "users" upload their own content, it's not clear what it takes to be a user. Right now, it appears that Joost is going to be a platform for an infinite variety of professionally produced shows, all organized and presented using the best capabilities of the Internet (search and infinite volume). LonelyGirl15 may have a show on Joost one day, but it looks clear that the quality bar will be quite high.
So ZennstrÃ¶m and Friis are making a run straight at the most reliable early adopters: young men. Watch for sci-fi shows, rock videos, sports, comedy -- anything with a testosterone angle. Deals are in the works with the three music majors, plus top US broadcasters and cable channels. For the rest of the world, there's a modified PBS strategy: classic reruns, documentaries, and independent dramas. Nothing too obscure, though: Content that few people want to see -- what Leiden engineers call "the too-long tail" -- crimps a P2P network's advantage.
For now it least, it appears to me that You Tube and Joost are apples and oranges. The big difference being potential content. You Tube (for now anyway) is a platform for everyone to see everyone else's short videos and clips from mainstream media. Joost is all about achieving a level of quality that allows it to become the new way for people watch TV quality programming via the Internet. What we may see is that a site like You Tube becomes an incubator for shows that could become hits on Joost. Direct competition though? I don't see it.