The deal, announced Tuesday, is designed to bring television and theatrical content from Viacom's brands--which include MTV Networks' Comedy Central, as well as Black Entertainment Television and Paramount Pictures--to the Joost software upon its full launch.
The deal is limited, at least at first: many of Viacom's most popular programs, such as and , will not be available initially. Some of the featured offerings, however, will be MTV's My Super Sweet 16, Comedy Central's Freak Show, BET's American Gangster, as well as feature films from Paramount and its related brands.
No financial terms of the agreement were provided.
Joost, formerly a secretive is the latest product from Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström. They're best known as the creators of peer-to-peer file-sharing software Kazaa and Internet telephony brandin 2005. Joost is currently in a limited private beta test, compatible only with Windows at first and recently expanded to Intel-based Macintosh computers. The official launch date has not yet been announced.
The software uses a peer-to-peer model similar to's, but while that file-sharing service had gained a reputation for promoting music and video piracy, Friis and Zennström are promoting Joost as a copyright-friendly alternative to video-sharing sites that are centered around user-generated content.
The Google-owned recently for allegedly failing to deal with piracy issues expediently. Earlier this month,any of its copyrighted content, which amounted to .
The downloadable Joost, on the other hand, features a slick, television-like console and aims to offer high-quality, professional video content supported by an advertising revenue model.