Joost Denies: No “Major Retrenchement”, Or “Sole U.S. Focus”

5 Comments

Joost, the online video service which has had more than its share of troubles since its founding, had another story this weekend to contend with, this time a sketchily-sourced story from Times UK. The story said that the London-based company is in for a “major retrenchment” and “is expected to rein in its global ambitions to focus solely on the US market.” And everyone went to town with the story, though no one bothered to check with Joost on it.

Turns out, neither of the points are true, as Joost PR told me this morning. The company has about 100 employees and is not planning any major layoffs, but is doing “re-alignment”, whatever that means. Also, Joost is not planning to only focus on U.S….that part is “completely untrue” as well, according to the company PR rep. The company is based in London and has major European roots, and will continue to do cross-border deals.

That the company has a tough road ahead is of course undeniable. Competition is intense. This April story in Portfolio paints a good picture of the company’s travails and hopes going ahead. The company plans to go launch a browser-version of it service…dedicated downloadable apps for such a service doesn’t make sense. Also, it plans to carry live programming, which may come with its own set of tech nightmares if it ever scales.

Update: Gigaom has an interview with Mike Volpi, CEO of Joost. He mentions that the company is focusing on US, Western Europe, China and a few other Asian markets, where online ad markets are more mature. Also, the company has no plans to shut down the Netherlands operation, contrary to earlier reports.

5 Comments

Dan

Elvin – do you work for the Times? Why are you so confident that they got it right? What is their source? Clearly not the company itself, or their partners, so who – one of the people fired? Sounds like a source with a bone to pick, not very reliable. But good ol british tabliod "journalism" doesn't care, right? Anyway, proof will be in the pudding, let's see what actually happens over the next few months.

Rafat Ali

G
Don't know if you've ever read us before, but that's a major part of what we do: aggregate third party stories.
As for believing Joost, I am believing them on their factual points: they're not doing major layoffs, and not changing their focus to U.S. only. As for whether they are having major trouble, sure, that's pretty much public knowledge as I point out.

G

Rafat – you are loosing your touch this weekend – your last two stories – the one about music labels – billboard – why are you re-writing a story someone else has already published – no genius here.

And believing Joost PR – thats great investigative journalism! You should know better –

Matt

There was a few Marketing staff let go a few weeks ago from the London office according to Newteevee and Om Malick because the Joost New York office had similar marketing/advertising staff, its well known that the Joost engineering management is relocating to New York becuse thats where ex Comcast and Joost VP of Engeneering Matt Zelesko will be based and the Netherlands development centre is scaling down because they are the also offices of former Joost CTO Dirk William van Gulick and his consultancy asemantics.com who was let go from Joost and know works for the BBC .

If I can find this out all via open source and well known news sources by myself I cant understand why a "Journalist" from the Times cant find this info ,unless some disgruntled former employees of Joost spun him .

elvin jones

don't know if you're generalization about other pubs going to town is accurate. seems they're saying pretty much the same as you. the pr woman told the times no major retrenchment but that's standard pr puffery. fact is that they're refocusing on the us. so that's the news – as the times reported. sounds as if you you got spun, dude

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