Coca-Cola, Nike, Lionsgate, General Motors, Visa, Electronic Arts, Kraft, Microsoft, Nestle, Purina, IBM, L'Oreal, HP, Intel. All among the 31 advertisers signed up to support the launch of Joost, becoming the first crop of advertisers to test P2P television. It's all very exciting.
But, I fear it. I've spent some time railing on Joost for relying on traditional 15 and 30 second mid-rolls, and using traditional television techniques as a crutch, rather than working towards more innovative definitions of the ad spend. And, I stand by that, although the minimal interruption of one 30 second spot per episode does seem rather reasonable.
And, they will be testing different techniques to generate revenue, such as still images, overlays, widgets, and a so-called "ad bug" that appears on the corner of the video, like network logos do on traditional television now.
But it doesn't matter until the advertisers push the limits of Joost, as well. The real question today is less about a Joost innovation (they've proved themselves a willing partner there), and more about whether agencies and advertisers are willing to take the wheel from time to time, pushing each other and the platform into more consumer-centric strategies.
Can Joost really make television better? The answer relies partly on us.
ps. I've got a couple tokens left if any of you haven't yet signed up for beta.
pps. Joost also signed a one-year partnership with IPG's Emerging Media Lab. I guess we'll see how this affects the landscape....