You've most probably heard about Joost by now. If not, it's an new (currently in beta), free broadband tv service. The entrepreneurs behind Skype and Kazaa are behind the new venture, so it carries considerable clout to say the least. It's currently the second most popular search on Technorati, so interest in the service is already high.
Here's a little promotional explanation from the Joost site:
"Joost is a new way of watching TV on the internet. With Joost, you get all the things you love about TV, including a high-quality full-screen picture, hundreds of full-length shows and easy channel-flipping. You get great internet features too, such as search, chat and instant messaging, built right into the program. Joost is completely free, and works with most modern PCs and Intel Mac-based computers with a broadband connection."
Here's a video of V.P. David Clark giving a preview of the service:
Joost's Advertising Model:
There's an article over at adverlab (yes again, great resource) describing Joost's proposed advertising model. Apparently Joost aims to have as little as one minute of commercial time per hour, if current projections are correct. As far a advertising itself is concerned, they say they're aiming for quality, not volume and frequency.
Joost's model apparently includes five to seven second ads that pop-up when particular videos are selected, and mid-roll ads in videos over five minutes in length. The proposed model aims to have one brand sponsor per program. Like interactive web banners, users can also click through for information, offers and long-form content from advertisers. This second step really amounts to on-demand advertising.
One of Joost's stated priorities is a backend that can pinpoint a user's location, viewing time, viewing habits and opt-in profile information in order to serve up extremely targeted and hopefully much more relevant ads. For example, this could mean that advertisers will be able to target particular people in a particular suburb (post code) watching a particular program at a particular time. This is the type of targeting that broadcast tv would die for, so to speak.
So the question now is, if the popularity of Joost (or other services like it) explodes on the web, could this bring us a lot closer to the much discussed death of the standard 30 second tv commercial much sooner than (many agencies have) anticipated? Could this begin to take us down the path of quality on-demand advertising that users can either choose to view and interact with, or dismiss at will? What do you think?
Is the time right for the success of interactive tv delivered over the web?