Joost Web Version Almost Ready; Still Requires Software Download

Joost, the peer-to-peer Web TV service that was supposed to take the world by storm, is close to launching its second act. Its much more modest ambition: Staying relevant.

Sources say the company is showing off a Web version of the service that will work in most standard Web browsers, and expect it to be released in beta this summer. That’s the good news. The not-so-good? We’re told that the new Web version of Joost will still require users to download a software plug-in to use it.

Still, any kind of Web-based service is a vast improvement over the first iteration of Joost, which used its own client, which meant anyone who wanted to use Joost really, really had to want to use Joost.

But why have any kind of download at all? Because that’s the only way Joost’s architects can figure out how to employ its peer-to-peer content distribution system, rather than the streaming system used by Hulu and other services that use Adobe’s Flash software. The upside to Flash is that it is pre-installed on most computers, making it easy for consumers to use. A combination of good content and ease-of-use helped Hulu become a top-10 video site in just two months out of beta. With content from Viacom, CBS and Time Warner, there is plenty to watch on Joost. Now they have to make it easy for consumers, and this is a start.

Related: Joost Hires Two From Dailymotion

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