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Who Knew? Joost Makes a Better Ad Network Than a Video Portal

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For those that questioned the acquisition of Joost by ad firm Adconion last year, or the subsequent transformation of the online video portal into a video ad network, the early results are in, and they are surprisingly positive. Hidden in yesterday’s comScore (s SCOR) release of February stats was the tidbit that Joost led all video ad networks in terms of actual reach — that is, penetration of ads delivered to online video viewers.

While the Adconion Video Ad Network was just tenth in terms of potential reach, with 45.5 million unique viewers and 26.1 percent viewer penetration, the Joost Video Network had 38.3 percent penetration of online video viewers for actual reach delivered. That compares to BBE, with 18.3 percent actual reach, and BrightRoll, with 18.1 percent actual reach.

Adconion took that data and ran with it, calling itself the No. 2 video property in the comScore Video Metrix Top 100 Properties, claiming that the Joost Video Network reached 67 million viewers in February, or about 38 percent of U.S. Internet viewers watching online video. Claiming that it was second only to Google (s GOOG), Adconion says that it showed more than 100 million videos during the month.

The company also took the opportunity to talk a little bit of smack about its abilities as a video “network” as opposed to a video “portal,” like a YouTube or Hulu. In a press release, Adconion said:

“Whilst other “video” portals attract a large amount of unique visitors to their site/s, they cannot replicate the network effect of the Joost Video Network, which consists of hundreds of major video destination sites in aggregate.”

Of course, what it didn’t say was that most of the videos it delivered during the month were actually ads, not consumer entertainment. Furthermore, not all of those objects are what one might think of as online videos; while the Joost Video Network does deliver pre-, mid- and post-roll ads in-stream, the company also delivers a number of “videos” in banner advertisements that run on publisher sites. Even so, the pure numbers are impressive, especially for a company that most observers had written off as dead just a few months before.

Related content on GigaOM Pro: Connected Consumer Market Overview, Q1 2010 (subscription required)