Joost, the new project of Skype founders-who now want to revolutionize the way we watch TV, has signed three month contracts with a group of 31 brand advertisers including Procter & Gamble, Coca Cola, Nike, General Motors, and Visa.
Joost will offer these advertisers traditional 30 second spot per block of programming, served on a mid-roll basis. U.S. advertisers include Electronic Arts, Kraft, Lionsgate, Microsoft, Nestle, and Purina Petcare where as IBM, LÓreal Paris and Nokia will be advertising in Europe. Coca Cola, HP and Intel will advertise globally.
Joost has also created an ad unit called Ad Bug, which will consist of the advertiser’s animated logo in the upper corner of the screen,similar to station IDs in traditional cable and broadcast TV. Other ad units include still images, video spots, overlays and widgets. Joost is also working with research firm Frank N. Magid Associates to test new ad formats, and measure their effectiveness by analyzing user consumption habits and other such metrics. The company also has a year-long strategic partnership with Emerging Media Lab of Interpublic Group to develop and sell advertising on its platform.
Joost is a downloadable application, as was Skype and Kazaa, which is still in private beta. The application allows users to enjoy video experience of TV, with the luxury of on-demand interactivity. Users can interact with the system, see the description of the program and channel or change channels and do anything with just a few mouse clicks. Mac users could even enjoy interacting with the system using their remote controls.
Joost also sports an easy to use graphical program list with previews of shows in a channel, enabling users to browse quickly through the channels. Users could also create personal channel and catalogs using the “MyChannels” and “Channel Catalog” features.
The software has alot of community features built in as well, allowing users to discuss and share their feelings about a particular show or game with friends using Google Talk or any IM client that works on Jabber protocol. Users could also rate shows, and search for shows that have been rated by their friends and colleagues.
The company has already partnered with CBS and Viacom to provide their programming to the users. Joost will also be creating behavioral profiles of the users based on the viewing habits, likes and dislikes, to serve hyper targeted ads. It is just a matter of time when you will be able to select the joggers Steve Jobs sported in the Macworld conference by clicking on the TV screen and ordering it from the nearest store.