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Does CTO's departure mark the beginning of the end for Joost?

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 21 Jan 2008 21:43 User comments (3)

Does CTO's departure mark the beginning of the end for Joost? Last Thursday BBC Future Media and Technology Group Controller Erik Huggers announced the hring of Joost CTO Dirk-Willem van Gulik as the division's Chief Technical Architect. van Gulik will be taking over the position in February. He will be succeeded at Joost by former Comcast and Cisco executive Matt Zelesko.
Just a few months ago Joost was in the enviable position of having "legitimate" online video from television networks, as well as a lot of buzz surrounding their beta, which promised free "broadcast quality" online television viewing. Since then, however, it seems to have quickly faded into obscurity, overshadowed by direct offerings from network websites, new services like the joint venture from NBC Universal (NBCU) and News Corp. called Hulu, and more recently Apple TV.

As Joost attempts to re-energize their service with a new CTO and plans for a second base of technical operations in the U.S. it seems fair to ask what kind of future the company has. Last July they boasted of having "1 million viewers," although this most likely equates to the number of people who have downloaded their player, rather than those actually using the service on even a semi-regular basis.

Since that time there has been a lot of talk about online video, and yet Joost seems like little more than a footnote. A number of websites have appeared that either index or directly stream video offerings from other sites rather than providing the content themselves. With no need to make arrangements with content owners these services grow every time more content becomes available online.

The Joost service remains officially in a beta state, despite the client being ready for full release and available to anyone who's interested. Meanwhile they seem to be falling behind as consumers demand, and in some cases are beginning to get content that can be downloaded for later viewing. It's difficult to imagine the average consumer getting excited about anything less than that, especially with the seemingly daily of DVRs that are almost standard equipment for TV viewing.

Despite all of these potential problems, don't write Joost off just yet. Founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom are still favorites in traditional media circles, a fact that's helped them establish a dynamic assortment of both past and current TV shows, and even some independent films. Joost isn't the first unlikely service the pair has been behind either. You may have heard of the fruits of their earlier effort, a little service called Skype.

With the addition of Zelesko, who has experience with a large Cable Television provider like Comcast, there's certainly hope for Joost. Whether that will translate into a successful service has yet to be determined.

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3 user comments

122.1.2008 14:37
banned2X
Inactive

Joost is such garbage. It's all homemade tv with a few T&A channels (like the Diana wet t-shirt) which of course I don't mind because I have a edited by ddp. Other than that, how can it even be compared to NBC online or network tv made available online. Joost's success matters NOT!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Feb 2008 @ 12:57

222.1.2008 14:41
banned2X
Inactive

Oh..............and as for Zelesko having "experience" with Comcast...........well..............'nough said. They are a failure as the worst cable company in the country with the highest prices and worst customer service. They are only credited with succeeding for the same reason as all others that are sub-par...................can you say "mon-op-oly". Rid the consumer of choice and we will take what we can get. Deregulate and we will take what we CHOOSE. American business SUCKS!!!!! (And I'm an American)

318.2.2008 1:21

Quote:
Last July they boasted of having "1 million viewers," although this most likely equates to the number of people who have downloaded their player, rather than those actually using the service on even a semi-regular basis.
I love this. Its soo true i have downloaded it tried to use it one and it did not work and i uninsta;;ed it the first chance i got :P

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