Two Scandinavian entrepreneurs behind free online Skype telephone calls on Tuesday launched a new global broadband television service.
The initiative marks the third start up by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, who helped revolutionize the market for free telephone calls over the Internet before selling Skype to eBay Inc. for around $2.5 billion in 2005.
Their new TV business Joost — initially dubbed The Venice Project — has been funded using part of the money they made from Skype’s sale.
The Internet television start-up is still being tested with visitors to the site (www.joost.com) being asked to sign up and test the new service and report problems.
Joost is billing itself as the first free global TV distribution platform, uniting advertisers, content owners and viewers in a piracy-free interactive service.
“People are looking for increased choice and flexibility in their TV experience, while the entertainment industry needs to retain control over their content,” said Joost Chief Executive Fredrik de Wahl.
Joost has yet to reveal the number of channels which will be available.
Friis and Zennstrom also co-founded the popular file-sharing service Kazaa, which they sold to Australian company Sharman Networks in 2001.
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