TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Skype Founders Plan to Launch Web TV Service

Skype Founders Plan to Launch Web TV Service

Reuters News Wire (
Thu, 26 Oct 2006 13:35:33 -0500

The founders of file-swapping service KaZaA and Internet calling
program Skype plan to launch advertising-supported Internet television
shortly, Skype co-founder Janus Friis told a Danish newspaper.

The project, code-named Venice, will bring quality TV programmes for
free to consumers who have a broadband Internet connection, he told
Boersen financial newspaper.

"We will simply present it to the public when we feel that it works
well enough and there is enough content. And it will not be much
longer before it is out. It is a question of a month or two," Friis
was quoted as saying when he attended Boersen's Executive Club on
Wednesday night in Copenhagen.

"This is a system where people with professional content can put it
out (on the Internet). And that can be anybody," said Friis, who
currently has "a lot of people" negotiating with TV production
companies around the world.

"We don't want any more lawsuits," Friis said, referring to the days
when he was running KaZaA, which was used by people to freely share
copyrighted songs.

The success of the new venture depends on perfect timing, but Internet
users appear to be ready for video services given the popularity of
YouTube as well as delayed viewing of news bulletins and other public
TV programmes in many countries.

YouTube, which shows mainly short clips, was bought by Google for
$1.65 billion in Google stock earlier this month.

Internet calling and messaging service Skype, which Friis set up with
his partner Niklas Zennstrom, was sold to eBay for up to $4.1 billion
last year.

"The timing has to be right. Otherwise it will not work. We have been
lucky with KazaA and Skype, where it was absolutely right. Now we hope
that will also be the case with our next project," Friis was quoted as

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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