Babelgum, the p2p online video service which is inevitably being compared to Joost (see our preview) is to begin opening its Beta to the public. Existing testers can now invite others, and the company’s website is offering sign-ups on a limited first come first served basis, each day.
It has taken a few more days than expected but we are finally there! Today we are launching our open beta phase, with a brand new release of the Babelgum client, involving a major rewrite to improve performance and several new features. The release will also showcase hundreds of hours of content, with much more to come in the next few weeks.
Previously, we’d noted that Babelgum seemed a lot further behind in the development cycle than Joost, and while today’s update means they’re catching up, it still looks like they have a long way to go to match Joost’s volume of content. Although we also observed that Babelgum maybe embracing more of a niche and open content strategy.
Where Joost has made much of its success in signing up big media partners including MTV, Comedy Central, CNN, Sony Pictures, and CBS; Babelgum’s website hints at a different strategy. By helping niche content find and connect with niche audiences, the company hopes to exploit the “Long Tail”.
If you’d like to get your hands on Babelgum you can try your luck on the site’s download lottery, which the company says is necessary to keep “growth pace under control” until they’ve tested their new infrastructure and feel confident enough “to fully open the download floodgates.”