With the release of Miro Public Preview 3, we feel ready to be held up next to any competition. The company with the most hype right now is Joost. To help prove our point, I put together a chart that details why we think Miro is a better product, better for the internet, and better for creators: Miro vs. Joost Comparison.
Simply put, I don’t think Joost can compete with a world-class open player and I think we’ll have more users than they do by January. I think we may already have more active users than they do– despite vastly more media coverage, Joost.com is only a little bit more popular than GetMiro.com according to Alexa. I think Miro users are telling their friends and Joost users are trying once and giving up.
A little background: Joost is an internet video application from the people that developed Skype (now owned by eBay). It’s an extremely closed system, with only certain, mostly traditional, publishers being given access. Users can only stream content and everything is locked down with DRM. Joost is trying to build their own proprietary tunnel through the internet.
Why would a company like Joost want to make an internet application that’s so restrictive? Because if they are successful, they will control both creators and viewers. Creators will have to sign a contract with Joost if they want to reach Joost’s audience. Being in the middle of a transaction is a good way to make money. But building a gatekeeping system for internet TV is a terrible direction for the future of media.
In contrast, Miro is an extremely open system. The software is open-source and can be modified by anyone. Anyone can publish to Miro and nothing comes through our servers. Like a web browser, the connection happens directly between the viewer and the creator. We don’t even lock-down the content guide– anyone can create an alternative channel guide for Miro.
But openness isn’t just important for social reasons. Miro’s openness makes it a better product. In the same way that web was more exciting than closed dial-up networks like Prodigy and AOL, Miro embraces the internet sandbox in a way that makes internet TV a whole lot more interesting. Miro has way more channels that Joost ( 2.600 compared to 250) and because it’s a gatekeeper-free system, you can connect to many more that we don’t even list in our guide. Just like the web compared to AOL, there’s more crappy content but there’s also more good content. You don’t have to worry about the crap– just search for what you like.
Joost has had a ton of hype, mostly because the people who made it got so rich when they sold Skype and the press wants to see if they can do it again. But when you look at what’s there, Joost is a pretty dull product. Their content selection is mediocre and their user base has grown much more slowly than you would expect given the amount of attention they’ve received. Joost simply isn’t very interesting to watch.
We think Miro’s better and I expect that the strength of our product and the passion of our users is going to far outshine the Joost hype.