Joost co-founder, Niklas Zennström, has revealed that the Internet TV service now has one million Beta testers, and is on track to fully launch by the end of the year. Speaking at a Skype press event, Zennström also acknowledged the challenge of scaling the peer-to-peer video platform, and stressed that the company’s main priority was ease-of-use.
While the numbers are impressive — as Mike Arrington notes, that’s a lot of Beta testers — the way the application has been marketed through a viral invite-only strategy, combined with a disproportionate amount of media coverage (compared to rivals such as Babelgum), I’m not that surprised that they’ve persuaded 1 million users to sign-up. However, trying the application once, and actually using Joost as a regular source of ‘television’, are two completely different things. My experience, and anecdotal evidence from friends, is that there simply isn’t enough compelling or unique content available yet (especially in Europe) to warrant regular use. To that end, it may well be that the chosen launch date won’t be based on technical considerations, but on securing enough new content to satisfy a major marketing blitz.