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Summary:

Online video site Joost told subscribers it will end all software support for its original software application as of this Friday. The softw…

imageOnline video site Joost told subscribers it will end all software support for its original software application as of this Friday. The software was a key part of Joost’s video distribution through P2P systems.

Now, Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey tells Multichannel News, the development means that P2P as a way to legally send professional videos to viewers is dead.

With broadband penetration growing, allowing for wider viewing of streaming videos and relying on P2P networks is seen by Joost as irrelevant, especially with the rise of Hulu for primetime content. As we said back in September, when Joost announced it was shutting down its desktop version, which still used the P2P networks, it had planned to release a small plugin that would embed itself in the browser and allow users to grab files. As Rafat noted in that post, even downloading a plugin would still be an unappealing element in Joost’s efforts to get increased takeup of the service. Since then, it has introduced a flash version for browsers and an iPhone app as it tries to refocus. It’s also working on getting an app on Facebook.

The site currently has about 57,000 videos from nearly a dozen broadcasters, cable nets and media companies, including backers Viacom (NYSE: VIA) and CBS (NYSE: CBS). As for abandoning the P2P software, Joost said it won’t be making any organizational changes.

  1. That was actually reported by Mulitchannel News, not B&C.

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  2. P2P is not dead. Joost was forced to decide between building an audience or building a technology, and they chose to build an audience because their P2P technology is not very good. Joost is just following the same path as Veoh, Roo Group, and other startups that made the mistake of thinking that P2P was easy enough to do on the side while they also worked to develop a consumer facing business.

    There are plenty of companies that are focused on building enterprise grade P2P technology for license to content publishers that have are focused on their audience. Octoshape and Solid State Networks come to mind.

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  3. I agree with BC. Joost screwed up their implementation of P2P. It doesn't work for midtail VoD content. I am sure HULU has monetization challenges as well. But they have deeper pockets and better content. The challenge for Joost, Veoh, et al is creating a business model that is 1) profitable and 2) scalable to the audience size of the broadcast networks. If you tried to put an audience the size of just 1/2 a gross ratings point across the Hulu platform it would break…quickly.

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  4. I dont think this is the nail in the coffin for live P2P, if anything the technology is evolving and you will see it implemented in future IPTV closed garden systems.
    You have companies like Network Foundation Technologies that are quietly moving ahead, being funded by the NSF for P2P development.

    Joost just screwed the pooch and tossed away a lot of other peoples money, which seems to be in fashion in the digital video space.

    Focus on being cash flow positive, focus on ' how will this make money'.

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  5. Seattleinthemix Friday, December 19, 2008

    I think Forrester needs to get a new "Research analyst" if James McQuivey really thinks that this "..development means that P2P as a way to legally send professional videos to viewers is dead". Is he Joking?

    How can Mr. McQuivey base a statement like that on one company, one company where the founding CTO left (If you remember the CTO of Joost left before last spring when his bosses told him to make his system broadcast "live" -a system he built for P2P file sharing NOT "live" broadcasting.).

    I can assure you there are may companies successfully delivering "professional video" as finished files to viewers with p2p technology, and there are one or two doing it 'Live" with "live professional video" for things like news and sports, and yes its through live p2p technology!

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