Joost is killing off its desktop client and moving lock, stock, and barrel over to a Web-based system of content delivery. But will this actually help Joost gain viewers?
Joost has been out of the headlines for the last few months. In fact, we haven’t even spoken about the Web TV application since May. But now it’s back with a big announcement.
From Desktop To Web-Based Client
Calling it an announcement is actually a bit on the presumptuous side as the news that Joost is abandoning its desktop client to move to a purely Web browser-based system is still just filtering through.
Joost was cited as a brilliant Web TV start-up when it originally launched, but the peer-to-peer system of delivery started being blamed for its low take up rate and viewer numbers shortly afterwards.
Joost went from being the darling of the Internet to being talked up for an early death. During the beta launch, many people were eager to try Joost out, but those same people abandoned the service after a lack of content and technical issues made it not worth persevering.
Long Awaited Development
In March we reported on rumours that a Web-based version of Joost was being developed, and now, six months later, this has become a reality.
Joost will now be available via a small plug-in (thought to be under 20MB) that then embeds itself in the browser and allows users to grab the peer-to-peer files.
Joost Vs Hulu
The problem Joost has is that while this is something analysts and fans have been calling for, it could now be too little, too late due to the success of Hulu, Amazon’s new video streaming service, and the continuing dominance of YouTube.
Hulu is clearly the biggest threat Joost still faces, and it will be interesting to see the two go head to head with each other on a truly level playing field.
Doomed To Failure
This move has got Joost some much needed headlines likely to have reminded people of its existence. And the new browser plug-in could persuade a few more people to give the service a go. But are a few people really going to make any difference?
Hulu has the advantage of showing premium content for free while Joost still only has very few niche shows likely to draw in the viewers. Until that issue is sorted, I really can’t see it being able to gain any more traction than it already has.
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