Jaman Almost Out of Beta, Launches Version .99

On the heels of Joost’s announced intent to offer live TV, I spoke with the CEO of online video distributor Jaman – a company taking a very different approach to delivering content. Jaman has gotten attention from some of the big wigs both for its focus on indie and international films and for its ability to deliver high-def video to via the Apple TV. However, in my discussion with Gaurav Dhillon, I was most fascinated by his take on the importance of focusing on video downloads right now rather than video streaming.

The Jaman strategy is interesting because it combines online interactivity and short-form video (movie trailers) with a desktop client and long-form video delivered for offline viewing. The theory is that mucking up the broadband networks with bandwidth-hogging applications is not responsible. Instead, Jaman uses a content delivery network and progressive downloading to get content to its users. Within a minute of beginning a download, users can start watching their rented or purchased movie. But if there is traffic overload on the Internet, Jaman will throttle the download back – a good way to keep ISPs happy, particularly since Jaman’s content is all HD.

In its online bag of tricks, Jaman has just introduced new social and searching features for its website. There’s a cute Movie Finder app that lets you adjust sliders toward different movie characteristics to help you find the one you’re in the mood for. (See pic above) There’s also a People Finder feature that finds avatars similar to your own so you can meet other Jaman fans. (A bit cheesy, but an interesting novelty.)

And for the basics on Jaman:

  • Rentals cost $1.99
  • Purchased films cost $4.99
  • The Jaman application runs on both Mac and PC
  • There are currently almost 2,000 films under license
  • Content comes from film festivals and regional aggregators of movies around the globe

If Jaman piques your interest, you can try it and get three movies free to start. I know what I’m watching this weekend.