If You Want Joost, You Gotta Have Friends

Today marks the first day of YouTube competitor Joost's commercial availability. That's right, it's out of "expanded beta" and open to an "unlimited number"—cue record scratch noise—"of friends, family and colleagues of existing beta testers." Maybe it's not beta, or expanded beta, but I am going to call this interim period "expanded expanded beta."

The dudes who brought you KaZaA and Skype also announced new content for the "TV anywhere" service, including Hasbro, the NHL, Sports Illustrated (that's the one with the ladies rolling in sand, right?), Sony Pictures Television, CNN and our favorite, Adult Swim. (Carl is so dreamy!)

Lest you think all of these video treasures come at no cost to you, Joost said that they had enrolled 32 "blue chip" sponsors, including megabrands Coca-Cola, HP, Intel and Nike.

I'm told that sponsors will buy ad time on given shows, so that a certain show (for example Aqua Teen Hunger Force) will feature ads from a certain sponsor (say Coke). The ads will take the form of quick promos at the beginning, and also may appear as live links in the corner of the screen during the show itself. Some ads start today; a full range of sponsors will be appearing by the end of the month.

Of course for now, none of this matters unless you have a good friend on the inside.

Product Page [Joost]