Joost Bytes Dust?

I’m glad Mathew Ingram came out and said it. When I heard the news this week about the shake up at Joost, I also immediately wondered what was up with the company. I had a look at the compete trend data at the time and assumed that it was doing okay, the graph shows an upward movement. But now it’s occurring to me that the upward trend is probably not steep enough considering a $45Million spending budget. 100k people per month this late in the game is just not going to do it. Not even close.

I predicted the company’s demise at the peak of their buzz back in May of 2007 in a post called, “Why do Video Platforms Fail”.

1. Insubstantial library of content
2. Poor bit rates
3. Lack of innovation (clone platform)
4. No share in content ownership rights
5. No exclusivity of content distribution
6. Lack of spark/spirit for a centralized community
7. Need for users to d/l proprietary software
8. Awkward interface design
9. Overly excessive emphasis on rights protection
10. Lack of technological foresight & audience expectations

For all those reasons plus three more, I’m going to hop on the bandwagon here and assume that the company is dead. Also then, 

11. Too elitist – I’ve ben in contact with Joost on three different occasions about having Rocketboom on their platform and I was told by the content acquisition department that Rocketboom along with all other podcasts were not “the kind of content they were focusing on” (i.e. too shitty for their superior content selection). On one occasion I received an email from someone in their IT asking me to fix an RSS feed so that it would look nice in Joost. So when I wrote back to say that I would be interested in distributing Rocketboom on Joost but that we should talk about it first, I never heard back. Then later this past October I got a ping from a 3rd party Marketing company on behalf of Joost and they were looking to promote some video and wanted us to play it on Rocketboom. So when I told them I would be interested in playing their video on Rocketboom if they are interested in playing our video on their platform and I never heard back. 

12. Joost’s biggest accomplishment was generating buzz and using the “invite system” as their method to create a demand out of hyperbole and desire. This is also motivated by an elitist mentality, but I think its a neat way to build up your new platform with first adopters. In watching Joost and other companies like Seesmic use this method, I have become curious about the point at which it becomes too long to hold the site closed in this elitist state. I would suggest that Joost was closed for too long. There was a certain point after their peak buzz point last year when they should of opened it up. As a result of not doing so, they lost their momentum in the press. Seesmic, in my opinion, is at the point now where they need to open it up or its going to be too late. I personally dont like Seesmic right now – I can’t help but feel like its elitist and I have been left out (I have applied for an invite to the site on two occasions but have never gotten a response).

13. Because no one I know uses it or talks about it.

Discovering Joost is kinda like discovering a new gadget at the store that you are not impressed by:  once you pick up the box and read the specs, you sorta just put it back on the shelf and forget about it for the rest of your life.

New Tee Vee has a list of 5 ways to save Joost. I’m afraid trying to save it might be like trying to start a completely new company with a $45M debt.