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Five Ways to Save Joost

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joostsfuture.jpgThe writing is on the wall for Joost: The company just fired its CTO under what can only be described as puzzling circumstances. Then there are all those rumors about disappointing user numbers, funding issues and staffers looking for new jobs. It’s hard to tell whether these are true, but it’s clear that Joost is getting beat left and right by its competitors. Just take a look at Hulu, and you know that the Joost team has good reason to be worried.

But all is not lost for Joost. The company has built some interesting technology that could be leveraged into a great online video platform, it just has to break down the walls to its deserted garden. Here’s some unsolicited advice on how to save Joost.

Integrate Hulu. Almost ever single comment made on our recent articles about Joost involves a complaint about the lack of quality content. Joost has Tropical Honeys, Hulu’s got Heroes. Go figure. But Joost can make use of Hulu because its application is built on Mozilla XUL-Code, making it basically a browser that is specialized for video. Hulu, on the other hand, allows its clips to be embedded into any web page. Veoh and formal partners like MSN already make use of it, so why not Joost? Sure, the interface will need some tweaking, but that’s a small price to pay if you get instant access to tons of quality programming in return.

Turn Joost into a podcasting client. There are literally hundreds of great video podcasts out there, and tens of thousands that, although questionable to some, still manage to tickle the fancy of others. So why can’t I watch any of them with Joost? Give me the ability to chat with users who watch the same content, just as it’s now possible with Joost shows, and I’ll even tolerate the occasional layer ad. There have been fairly reliable rumors about Joost working on this feature for quite a while now, so where the heck is it?

Build a web version. This is pretty much a no-brainer. Sure, P2P won’t work on the web, and there are plenty of competitors out there. But it’s about offering your users the convenience of being able to watch your content where they want and how they want. Joost’s advantage over platforms like Hulu will never be some software with lots of bells and whistles, but its potential to have a social dimension. Users that interact with each other and help each other find content. Build this community in your client, give it a home on the web and allow them to occasionally stream a clip there as well.

Build a Firefox plug-in. Consider it the next step in merging the web with the Joost app. A plug-in could make use of Joost’s P2P network, its widgets and its community and at the same time allow access to any other content online. Wouldn’t it be great if users could mash a single playlist out of YouTube videos, Joost clips and Hulu scenes and then send it to their Joost IM buddies?

Get Joost on the Wii. Forget about Apple TV. The real home entertainment powerhouse is Nintendo. The company has sold more than seven million consoles in the U.S. alone, but hasn’t shown any ambitions to get into the online video market. Joost could fill this gap by offering a Wii-optimized web app that’s accessible through the console’s Opera browser. Give me the ability to control my videos with some wild Wiimote gestures, and I’ll chose Joost over Hulu any day.

35 Responses to “Five Ways to Save Joost”

  1. Hulu was made by the broadcaster themselves. They want to be in control of the content distribution and cut as many intermediate as possible. This is the only way they can max-out profits.

    Joost has always been the idea of full screen TV quality on your computer, you have enough Veoh, YouTube and various clones out there.

    Joost is banking of the fact their platform is encrypted, so content holder can put their content knowing it will not be copied and distributed elsewhere. If Hulu is flash video it will not be too hard to save those files.

  2. In short, you are saying: turn it into Veoh (aggregate content from everywhere, make it accessible on the web without a client).

    Maybe Veoh should just buy them out and get the talent. At this stage, they will probably a reasonable offer.

  3. I don’t know that “saving Joost” is something that we should be too worried about. They spent $45 million of other peoples money swanning around New York telling the world how things are going to be in the XXIst Century. As it turns out, they have about as good idea about the future as the former presidents of Citicorp and Merrill Lynch.

    But FWIW, if they asked me to fix Joost up I’d

    1) Move back to Europe
    2) Create linear more VOD
    3) Increase the adload (with global brands only)
    4) Offer a smaller picture that fits avg. upload capacities in Europe
    5) Create an embedded player ( primarily to allow syndication)
    6) One more…rebrand Joost with a name that doesn’t sound like toast.

  4. Joost is:

    1. Proprietary.
    2. DRM-encumbered.
    3. Not available for GNU/Linux, *BSD or Solaris (the only systems I use).

    So my conclusion is: I couldn’t care less about Joost, good riddance.

  5. The only real advice is the last one, but that would need to be backed up by a Web version. As you said. No brainer.

    The problem with joost is that it is a “Wannabe” gatekeeper type company in a world where we just invented teleportation.

    Maybe it can become some type of content aggrigator with a social networking bent. But that is so far from the current business model, its a start from scratch.

    The CTO going to BBC seems to be more in touch with where the real business it. Building content accessability platforms for content producers to interact directly with customers. This is the future in one shape or another.

    An example of this is BBC talking about going to AppleTV. Cool, but thats because its going to ANY platform that will have them let users access their content. Not because Apple TV is the way forward.

    To tell the truth, I doubt it will happen as Apple will want to clip the ticket. BBC will tell them to get lost. What gives them the right. In the end its ALL NET!


  6. Matt Hendry

    Ive mentioned Joost on the Wii to the developers in their IRC channel on Freenode and they always say the Wii doesnt have enough power for Joost to run .Ill keep bugging them and maybe there will be a WiiWare Chanel for Joost in the next year .

    Joost might be able to create a flash version but Im sure they would have to use Flash 9 which the Wii doesn’t currently support because Abode hasn’t released the Flash 9 SDK for devices.

    Mike Volpi told Kara Swisher last year he wanted a browser based version and outlined his vision for Joost when he was the Fresh faced CEO .

    He also mentioned support for RSS feeds so Joost could double as a podcasting client .

    Hmm a Browser based p2p plugin I know a developer who was working on that for another company that recently let go of its p2p developers , but he doesnt work for Joost ;)

    Another thing Joost should do is add a Linux client its one of the most requested things on the Joost forums .

    Also Joost needs to listen to its users on its forums ,chats and emails and really ask us what we want .

    Please engage us Joostand you will be rewarded with our loyalty …if you have Hulu’s content ;)