Viacom has reached a deal with Joost, which will allow content from its networks including MTV, BET and Paramount pictures to be shown on Joost for free, according to Reuters. This marriage with Joost, a site that allows viewers to watch television online, comes two weeks after Viacom ended conversation with YouTube, and forced the user-generated site to pull over 100,000 copyrighted videos.
This deal is the answer to both companies’ recent problems, and/or concerns. Viacom no longer has to worry about user-generated videos, in which it has copyright to, popping up on the eclectic site of YouTube. It can now control the release of shows it wishes viewers to watch. Joost, who has expressed concern about the copyright issue, now has legitimate television content watched by millions
From the creators of the online phone service, Skype, Joost needed a contract like this in order to become a legitimate threat in the online world. The site looks great, works well and easily navigated, but it did not have the content. It still does not have a vast amount of available shows, but it’s a start. What will be interesting is if Joost can have access to MTV or BET archives. “Beavis and Butthead” will be available, but what about archives of “Remote Control” or “Yo! MTV Raps?” This would distinguish it from the MTV site which already offers free content of the shows recently aired.
The deal, however, does not mention Comedy Central and the two shows that directly led to Viacom’s disgruntlement with YouTube, “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.”
Viacom has responded well to the recent YouTube debacle by striking a deal with Joost, but it needs to continue this intelligent response by continuing to adapt to the online market. It needs to allow the Comedy Central shows online, and it needs to provide content to Joost that it does not already provide on MTV or BET. Its important for these shows to have a place online because so many of the viewers of these shows have grown to become completely online oriented.