Joost Category

Joost (formally known as The Venice Project) – Peer to Peer TV Distribution from the founders of Skype and Kazaa

Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, Joost, News, Video Start-Ups, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on October 20, 2011

Vdio LogoNetflix appears to have a new competitor waiting in the wings ready to strike while the U.S. DVD and streaming giant is languishing on the ropes. But ‘appears’ is the operative word, because Vdio is as yet an unknown quantity.

Netflix and…

In the world of streaming video it’s currently Netflix… and then everyone else. Amazon is the nearest competitor with its Amazon Prime offering. But Netflix has had a tumultuous past few months, which we’ve discussed on several different occasions here on WebTVWire.

The question is, do these troubles leave room for some competition to sneak in and grab customers?

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SeeSaw LogoSeeSaw has now arrived, having left its short beta and launched fully for anyone resident in the U.K. to use. More content is promised, and Arqiva is already talking about pay-per-view and subscription options in the near future.

SeeSaw

SeeSaw is the one-stop shop for online television that Arqiva built from the ashes of Project Kangaroo. SeeSaw entered an invite-only beta last month, but has now launched fully, with any British resident now able to use the service as they wish.

SeeSaw is a free, advertising-based site which draws video offerings from a number of different sources. It then serves them up in a very user-friendly environment with good quality video playback and a minimum of adverts.

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Joost LogoThe most recent article about Joost here on WebTVWire stated that the company was “heading ever closer to death.” And that death now seems to have come after Joost.com, the trademark, and some technology assets have been acquired by an online ad network.

The Mighty Joost

As Joost reaches this unfortunate end, it’s hard to imagine quite how big a deal the service was in the run up to and around its launch. Hell, it was so secretive and self-important that it was known as The Venice project prior to being renamed Joost.

The service began life in October 2006 after being created by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis. The pair were already well-known for both Skype and Kazaa so the signs were all there that Joost was guaranteed to succeed.

Prior to its launch, Joost had hundreds of software developers working on the service and had signed up a million eager beta testers (me included). But its launch at the end of 2007 was to be the high point for the service.

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Joost seems to heading ever closer to death. It’s refocusing on becoming a white label video provider, is letting go of most of its staff, and has lost Mike Volpi as CEO. Less than three years after being founded, the Joost story looks set to come to an end fairly soon.

Everything In Place

Joost seemed to have every chance of succeeding when it launched as The Venice Project in October of 2006. Early hype made it a much in demand start-up, with everyone wanting to test the new high quality, on-demand video streaming service out. Which they did in their droves thanks to an invite-only beta.

The funding was also there in place, with $45 million raised from some big names including Sequoia Capital, Index Ventures, Viacom, and CBS. It was Hulu before Hulu was even a twinkle in its shareholders eyes. Success seemed guaranteed but clearly nothing is guaranteed in the world of technology.

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Posted in: Deals, Funding & Acquisitions, Joost, News, Video Distribution, Video Sharing & Video Clips, Video Start-Ups, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on April 24, 2009

Joost, once the darling of the burgeoning online video market, could be about to evolve into something altogether less exciting. There are reports that the company is shopping itself around to cable companies as being a possible ready-made online video solution.

An Exciting Launch

Joost launched in beta form (as The Venice Project) in 2006, and soon became one of the most-wanted apps by anyone interested in online video. One million people signed up to use the service within a year and then it finally launched at the end of 2007.

I remember those heady days when the invites to try out Joost were like gold-dust. Having finally got one, I tried the service out, was impressed with it, but had to stop using it due to it slowing down my computer a great deal. If there had been more quality programming available then maybe I would have persevered, but there wasn’t, so I got rid of the desktop app pretty quickly.

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It’s looking as though mobile television is going to grow exponentially over the next few years, with faster and more numerous connections, and more devices capable of streaming video. TV.com clearly wants in on the ground level, and has already started its push.

Hulu Vs. Joost Vs. TV.com

Hulu and Joost were once the two big online video portals battling it out for the hearts and minds of viewers. But Joost has fallen by the wayside of late, a victim of not having enough premium content regularly airing. The switch to being browser-based has helped, but not enough to keep it buzzworthy and in the news.

The new battle seems to be between Hulu and TV.com, a relatively new entry into he video portal market after evolving from being a more community-based affair. The two sites have traded blows recently, with Hulu removing its content from TV.com after the former realized the latter could be stiff competition.

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2008 has now seamlessly morphed into 2009 and we’re all a year older, and maybe even a year wiser. But what happened in the world of Internet television over the past 12 months?

Here are my highlights of 2008 in the world of Web TV, with the two or three most fascinating or biggest stories from each month of the year. I wonder if 2009 will hold equal delights?

January

The year began with speculation as to whether Joost would survive the year. And despite a dodgy economy and bumps along the way, it has managed it. Meanwhile, there was an intriguing story concerning how BitTorrent wasn’t being used just by pirates to swap illegal wares.

February

Blu-ray finally won the battle of the high-definition formats but would it really matter in the end when digital downloads were surely the future? Quarterlife made its NBC TV debut and unfortunately didn’t do very well, proving Web video still has a way to go before mainstream acceptance is guaranteed.

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