Monday, March 24, 2008

Joost Passin' Through

Hey, it's always nice to be right, even when it isn't for exactly the reason I predicted. Lots of fodder recently, here and there, about how P2P video startup Joost is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the land of VeohHuluTube.

In addition to its P2P strategy not scaling, Joost's software client ran slow on my machine, and apparently many folks resist having to download and install it. But going to a more mainstream web or browser-based presentation won't save the company either. It makes them no more compelling than any of the other portals (remember that word?) angling to become video "on ramps".

In fact, it seems to me that all of these sites--including the much lauded Hulu--are not where the money is. It's the content, dude. Content owners now spray their wares onto any website it'll stick to. Site owners have no leverage left, especially as the advertisements become more attached to the content and less to the site. How would ABC or CBS have ever differentiated themselves if you could have found the same shows on any channel you switched to?

Only the sites that provide something unique (social connectivity is the big one that springs to mind) have a chance. Joost seemed to have recognized that--with a built-in capability to chat with other viewers--but its technology and presentation prevented it from catching on. Now it's probably too late.

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