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Summary:

Exclusive: In what is likely to be a major shift in the company’s strategy, peer-to-peer startup Joost is going to stop making its desktop client. The decision to suspend the client is likely to be announced soon, I am told. The company is going to a […]

Exclusive: In what is likely to be a major shift in the company’s strategy, peer-to-peer startup Joost is going to stop making its desktop client. The decision to suspend the client is likely to be announced soon, I am told. The company is going to a browser-only strategy, in which much of its content is going to be available through a browser-based player. Joost, I am told, will release a small plug-in that would embed itself in the browser and allow you to grab files using the P2P technologies. The web client is likely to have better quality than average video sites. (Update: Liz has an indepth review of the upcoming service along with screenshots.)

Joost had launched its desktop client with much fanfare but for a panoply of reasons, such as bandwidth limitations, software issues and lack of content, the company lost traction and usage of its client dropped. Joost isn’t the only startup to give up backing solely the client. Veoh and Jaman adopted a browser-and-client strategy, which has helped boost their audience.

Joost was started by Skype co-founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström and raised over $45 million in venture capital. The company hired former Cisco executive Mike Volpi as its CEO, and in the summer of 2007, it seemed Joost was heading to the moon. Over past the 12 months, the company has had to tweak its game plan, trim its work force and refocus to a world that is less accepting of clients. The company wanted to be a key distributor of Hollywood content, but that opportunity has faded with the rise of Hulu.

Liz wondered about the possibilities of turning Joost into a web app, and well, it looks like that is finally happening. NewTeeVee writer Janko Roettgers had come up with five ways to save Joost when trouble hit last year — developing a web version was one of them. Killing the desktop client points to that.

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  1. g2-0192f268c6e875bc332855a19e65993b Friday, September 5, 2008

    Will Joost only work with this plugin? Or is ther a browser only version which I can use with, let’s say, Linux? Until now there is no Joost software for Linux, but plenty of browsers.

  2. Joost to Kill Desktop Client « NewTeeVee Friday, September 5, 2008

    [...] Joost to Kill Desktop Client Exclusive: In what is likely to be a major shift in the company strategy, peer-to-peer start-up, Joost is going to stop making its desktop client. The decision to suspend the client is likely to be announced soon, I am told. The company is going to a browser-only strategy where much of its content is going to be available through a browser-based player. Read the full story on GigaOM. [...]

  3. Joost Ditches Desktop Client | SolSie.com Friday, September 5, 2008

    [...] to a insider source, GigaOm shared with us that  Joost will ditch that model and will go Web based only. Joost has been [...]

  4. Joost: A change to the program at Newest Industry Friday, September 5, 2008

    [...] at the time that it seemed weird to have a Desktop Client in the first place. Well, as Om Malik reports this morning, it seems that I was not [...]

  5. From what I can tell that seems to be the case and this is a small plugin.

    I don’t think it is much of a major problem.

  6. From our experience, even a small plugin install will cause a huge loss/dropoff in usage (~33% difference in bounce rate). We see it all of the time on Mefeedia when comparing Flash vs. Quicktime embeds (even though many people have iTunes, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have the QT Browser plugin).

    Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how the Web-based version of Joost develops!

  7. Im sure Joost still going to develop “clients” for devices in the future but it will based on their new Framework , but I suspect they will keep elements of the current Joost Client UI for TV based devices.

    But the standalone client as we know it is dead .

    Also the Joost plugin in that is in closed early beta testing works with Google Chrome even though it wasn’t tested with Chrome.I know that some of the Joost people where even surprised by that.

    As for Linux and Mac plugins they are coming also and Joost even has had a Job opening for a Plugin Developer for those Platforms advertised for the past couple of months .

    Joost Plugin Developer Job listing
    http://www.joost.com/jobs/08014ins.html

  8. Breaking: Joost Turns to the Web for Help Friday, September 5, 2008

    [...] GigaOm is reporting that Joost will discontinue its desktop P2P client and replace it with a small plugin that would embed itself in the browser. That plugin will reportedly provide files with the help of the company’s P2P technologies that are already in place. [...]

  9. Joost Tries to Remain Relevant; Will Nix Desktop Client Friday, September 5, 2008

    [...] biggest flops – is pulling a 180 in strategy. According to Om Malik, the video service will kill off its desktop client and replace it with a Web version that will utilize a “small plugin that would embed itself in [...]

  10. Sounds like they are still P2P and are going to still be running a client on your PC. They are trying to reposition themselves as browser based when in fact they are not. But I guess since Adobe gets people to think that Flash is “browser based” why shouldn’t Joost try the same story.

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