Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Joost Launches Flash Version For Browsers: Easier But No Hulu

Online video site Joost is finally, officially easier to use. The Flash-based, download-free version for browsers can be accessed now but the full-featured version is supposed to launch at midnight. Joost boasts of having the “largest online library of legal video programming.” The company says it has doubled the number of videos in the past 10 months to more than 46,000 with a 50 percent increase in hours for a total of more than 8,000 hours. Content partners include investors CBS (NYSE: CBS) and Viacom; Sony (NYSE: SNE) Pictures Television; Warner Bros. Television Group; the NBA; PBS and a number of international providers. Joost had a head start on Hulu in terms of time and hype but the News Corp-NBCU JV is well ahead now. Seeing the difference is as simple as watching the same clip on each service.One of the biggest differences: I can use Joost to catch up on CSI; CBS isn’t on Hulu although I can access it through Hulu’s directory, which sends viewers to CBS or CBS HD. You won’t find House on Joost or Saturday Night Live, although Mr. Bill is on hand. (The NYT says NBC scuttled a deal for SNL.) Joost has a handful of clips from The Daily Show as I write, while Hulu has 15 full episodes and 30 clips. Another: on Joost, sharing means sending an email, not embedding or clipping.

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