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Joost To Kill Desktop Client

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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. [digg=]

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.

83 Responses to “Joost To Kill Desktop Client”

  1. Well I tried Joost after long time .. was surprised client was taken out .. Then web based player is just like any other unless it incorporates p2p .

    But yes compared to most sites, the videos run much smoother on joost web player.

    Siddharth Menon
    Borget Solutions

  2. @pwb @Om Malik

    “…Bandwidth and server costs have gone down so much and are complemented by Akamai, et. al. that P2P isn’t buying them much.”

    Actually with Comcast’s newly implemented bandwidth caps ( all other ISPs to follow suit? ) P2P is very much relevant all over again!

    Watching streaming video, especially HD, will burn through your cap real quick!

  3. The Kazaa/Skype/Joost guys are way too dedicated to P2P technology. As we’ve seen, practically everything works better with a regular ole client/server setup. Bandwidth and server costs have gone down so much and are complemented by Akamai, et. al. that P2P isn’t buying them much.

  4. Is it just me, or is all of Joost’s real value in its back-end technology? Why waste time trying to create a new collection of TV channels when it can license out the P2P tech to existing networks that can create their own branded channels?

    You would think an AT&T or a Verizon could use Joost to create a cheap set-top box video plan that would lure people away from cable — DSL plus ESPN for a fraction of the cost, and you can watch your TV on the road from your laptop, too. Or does that involve too many short-sighted companies trying to work together?

  5. @Todd The Bittorent protocol cant stream it can only download .

    The clients/plugins that “st” torrents like Foxtorrent and Swarmplayer actually only use the torrent link as a bootstrap and then its streamed via a different protocol.

    Joost is a p2p video service supported by Ads and maybe they can still be a partner with HULU .Joltid (owned by Joosts Founders) that powers Skype and Joost is already a cloud service /overlay for the internet so they dont need Joost to do that for them .

  6. The Web-based application is already in closed beta. Some users on our site have already tried it, but this morning Joost wouldn’t confirm anything other than the fact that they were testing a “new product.” My name is linked to the article.

    Ian Lamont
    Managing Editor
    The Industry Standard

  7. Just A User

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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!

  10. g2-0192f268c6e875bc332855a19e65993b

    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.