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Industry Moves: Joost Hires Engineering SVP From Comcast, Loses CTO To BBC

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From our sister site paidContent:UK: Joost has hired an engineering SVP in New York to build a US development hub, as it loses its chief technology officer to the BBC. Dirk-Willem van Gulik, who had built London-based Joost’s P2P TV infrastructure in Holland, will become the BBC’s chief technical architect in February, charged with building a next-generation network infrastructure to deliver dynamic publishing and HD-quality video. Joost has now hired Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) Interactive Media engineering VP Matt Zelesko as SVP of engineering. He will be based out of NYC, where he is tasked with building a “second engineering hub”. Zelesko’s Comcast division just relaunched its Fancast video portal at CES. More at PCUK

7 Responses to “Industry Moves: Joost Hires Engineering SVP From Comcast, Loses CTO To BBC”

  1. I also met with them last year, and I noticed that here was a fair amout of fingerpointing inside organization why there was not more adoption. The business team said that the technology wasn't good enough, and the engineering team said the content is not good.

    I think, the real problem with Joost it is not a truly consumer-focused company:

    – The product was designed by the engineering team not the business team – too complex, too resource-hungry, too many bells and whistles. You can tell.

    – The business team never asked itself the question what consumers really want. Otherwise they would not have acquired so much junk content. The result is that instead of a convenient way to watch videeo on demand, they now have the equivalent of a cumbersome file sharing program, whose only purpose seems to be to filter out all the junk content to get to the good one.

  2. I met with the Joost team in early November for a business transaction and I was very disappointed with the outcome. They are def running out of Cash and the entire meeting was filled with back and forth arguments between their directors.

  3. Sure, I live in New York. Having worked in this industry for a long time, including several startups, I know what it feels like to be running out of cash in a few weeks or months time. But someone needs to convince me that Joost indeed has a viable business model here and .. why exactly it is BETTER than Babelgum, Veoh, Vuze, Brightcove, TVU, Akimbo, and all the others players out there who are doing video on demand these days. I have seen most of them and I don't get it why they are all so confident that people will like their junk. Good content and bad content doesn't mix (just like children and accounting don't mix). It will turn people away, and that is what is happening to Joost. In my most humble opinion, Joost should first get rid of all the junk content – that in and by itself will be a big improvement believe me. Then build A FEW great channels with great content, and then think about whether going into (re-)streaming of live video content is not the much better thing to do. My hunch is that a lot of the infrastructure is in place already. People will always want live content such as sports and news, so all this talk about users wanting to watch anything they want, anytime they want, I don't get it. Linear TV and broadcasters are here for very good reasons, including a) identification and selection of content (they know more content than any single person ever can, remember), b) aggregation and programming (they know more about viewing habits than any single person, remember), c) reproduction, presentation and distribution (they are really good at this). These reasons will never go away, nor will live events, so broadcasters are here to stay. At best, video on demand is a feature, and add-on to my linear TV experience. So to me, using Joost with its MIX of good and bad content on demand is more or less the same as going on Napster and find the video I like. And THAT was bad enough.

  4. I know several people there. Joost is basically dead. You will see many exits like this in the next weeks and months.

    1) They don't have attractive enough content to attract big audiences (frankly, who wants to sift through tons of crap on a site, only to find our that there is ONLY garbage?)
    2) They have practically no ad revenues so far, no improvement in sight (frankly, as an advertiser, would you advertise with them? Very limited audience.)
    2) Their cost structure is killing them (frankly, do you think a corporate exec can run a startup?)

    All this begs the question: Is VoD a valid business model?

    BTW, expect to see the same sort of news from Babelgum. They are also about to blow up. Similar story there: A corporate guy was brought in, to run a startup?????!!! Hello!