Joost has announced that it is abandoning ad supported streaming video and is repositioning itself as a white label video provider.
The company cited the economy as the decision behind the move, saying in a post that “it’s been increasingly challenging to operate as an independent, ad-supported online video platform.” It’s not clear when they’ll cut access to their existing database of on demand video, but at the time of writing videos were still available on the site.
The new Joost will offer its underlying video technology to other companies on a fee base, a risky move given the large number of other companies currently offering these services.
This is the third business reincarnation for Joost, who originally started as a P2P software based video service at a time online streaming video was becoming popular. Their second incarnation as a Hulu like service faltered due to Joost originally forcing users to log into the site to view videos, and a shallow range of content.
Notably their tech is anything but first class today; for example, I just tried to view a Michael Jackson video on the site and it took a solid 10-15 seconds before the video started playing, and experience I’ve always had with Joost. On YouTube and similar sites, videos start playing in seconds, if not immediately. How they’re going to offer an appealing white label service out of second class playback tech is beyond me. My prediction: Joost won’t last the year.