If your pockets are deep enough you can afford to pay to find good content. At least that would seem to be the case for IPTV company Joost. Just a few weeks after closing a substantial $45m Series A financing (that bought investors around the world only a minority stake), Joost has now signed a deal with Creative Artists Agency.
The LA-based talent agency will, according to a statement from the company’s head of business development, Michael Yanover (reported by Reuters), "provide Joost greater access to programming through [CAA’s] relationships with networks, studios, record labels, artists and independently-controlled content libraries."
With strategic investment from CBS and Viacom (more here), you’d think Joost already had access to significant media relationships and networks – but I suppose the more leads the better; so long as you can afford it or the price isn’t too steep. (It’s not clear what Joost paid for the privilege)
One thing is clear – Joost is trying hard to capitalize on all the press and publicity it can. For most startup’s, or aspiring actors, getting an agent may be a big deal but in and of itself, it’s not newsworthy. Joost seems to have a knack for getting themselves in the press (a feat, it’s founders also accomplished well with their past startup, Skype). Given the publicity, I’m surprised their competitor Veoh (which is backed in part by Hollywood notable Michael Eisner) hasn’t tried to steal, or share, in the limelight.
Whatever money Joost is spending, I hope they allocate a more sizable amount toward the quality of their service. I’ve experimented with Joost a good bit this past week and I’m not yet impressed. I know it is still a beta (and am therefore withholding final judgment), but the reality doesn’t yet live up to the hype (and the hype seems to be getting bigger day by day!). Right now, its like watching an amateur baseball player with a good swing and talking about him playing in Major League Baseball and being a superstar. The guy may or may not have the talent, but he’s not in the bigs yet, and a lot needs to happen for him to get there– I’m not a big enough baseball fan to want to watch the amateur games.
[Note: Joost is still invitation only. As previously noted, if you’d like an invitation to try the service send an email from the Contact Page here on Metue or leave a comment and put Joost Invite as the title, or the subject. I’ll be happy to pass one along, no strings attached (though I'd welcome any emails of people's thoughts on the Joost experience for inclusion in a future article).]