Ooyala to Power Joost

NewTeeVee has learned that video platform startup Ooyala will soon power video portal Joost. Representatives for the two companies confirmed that Ooyala would be providing its technology for Joost, but declined to offer further details until they are formally announced. For now, it was made public today that Joost CEO Mike Volpi joined the Ooyala board of advisors.

Steven Abraham, who leads IBM’s global business services in media and entertainment, joined the Ooyala advisory board as well. And Ooyala said that relationship will also include providing video services to IBM, though we don’t yet know to what extent.

The tie-up with Ooyala is a good move for Joost, whose technology has had hiccups throughout its many generations and revamps, from P2P app to plug-in to Flash video site. But it begs the question of what exactly Joost’s strength is, given that its content collection is not especially distinctive.

Joost content providers include Warner Bros. and investors CBS and Viacom and it also has extensive music video and anime collections. One advantage over competitors such as Hulu is that quite a bit of Joost’s content is available outside of the United States.

Ooyala looks great on the PC, and has some interesting clickable advertising and analytics technology, but unlike some of the white-label video competition it doesn’t offer full-fledged mobile or TV extensions, which seems like an opportunity for Joost to rise above. Joost does already have its own iPhone app. Ooyala makes use of Adobe AIR and also Amazon’s web services, whose startup competition it won in 2007. Its existing customers include Bebo and TV Guide.

Joost has $45 million in funding from founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström, Sequoia Capital, Index Ventures, Viacom, CBS and Li Ka-shing. Ooyala, which was founded by a trio of former Google employees, has raised $10 million in funding from Sierra Ventures and angels.

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