Joost unplugs Web TV service, concentrates on selling tech

The company will jump from one competitive arena to another in a bid to stay viable

Web video site Joost is restructuring, abandoning its hopes to be a successful ad-supported Web TV provider. Instead it will sell its video-serving technology to other media companies.

Joost, created by the same developers as Internet telephony application Skype, blamed an economy that has made it "increasingly challenging to operate as an independent, ad-supported online video platform," CEO Mike Volpi wrote Tuesday on a company blog. "In order to position ourselves well for the future, we began investigating additional lines of revenue for Joost," he said.

That investigation has led the company to shift its operations to providing white-label video platforms for companies interested in publishing Web video, including cable and satellite companies. Joost said it can help companies build video portals cheaper, as it is an expensive and difficult proposition.

Volpi implied impending layoffs: "Unfortunately, as a part of this change, we will say good-bye to many of our colleagues and friends."

Joost representatives in London and Leiden, the Netherlands, could be reached for immediate comment.

As part of the changes, Matt Zelesko will take over from Volpi as CEO, while Volpi will remain chairman of Joost's board. Zelesko was senior vice president of engineering. Joost said Stacey Seltzer, senior vice president of international business development and content acquisition, will run Joost's business operations.

The company didn't provide more details on its online video platform, but the changes move Joost from one highly competitive environment -- Web TV -- to another. Several other major companies specialize in different aspects of delivering online video, such as Brightcove, Adobe and Akamai.

Joost's withdrawal narrows the field of major players in online video. Google's YouTube continues to lead the pack, with its mix of consumer-generated video and sponsored content. For U.S. viewers, Hulu.com, backed by major TV studios, is also a strong player.

Joost did not feature user-generated content but instead had struck deals with content providers such as CBS and Viacom to deliver high-quality video through peer-to-peer technology. Last December Joost modified its site to deliver streaming video using Adobe Systems' Flash technology, which didn't require people to download Joost's desktop application, which the company then shut down.

In May Joost had 643,365 unique visitors, a nearly 23 percent gain over April, according to Compete, a Web analytics firm that offers a free comparison tool on its Web site. But Joost lagged far behind its competitors. YouTube.com had 76.4 million unique visitors and Hulu.com had 8.2 million.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Web TV

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?