Light Reading

Joost Sells Off Scraps

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

If you still had Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) in the who-will-buy-Joost pool, we're sorry to inform you that you weren't even close.

The final fate of Joost is now in the hands of Adconion Media Group, which has acquired the assets of the once-promising online video player. (See Adconion Buys Joost Assets.)

London-based Adconian didn't disclose the financial terms of the deal. Joost raised more than $45 million since its founding in 2006, counting backers such as Sequoia Capital , CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS), and Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA).

For months, officials have been trying to save or sell Joost, according to Janus Friis, a founder.

The purchase caps off a turbulent time for Joost and its founders. The company dropped CEO Mike Volpi, formerly of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and then Joost's founders pulled him into the legal spat over the sale of Skype ownership by eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY). (See Volpi Out at Joost, Still Advising Ooyala and Joost, Joltid Sue Volpi.)

Industry sources confirmed that Time Warner Cable gave Joost a cursory glance earlier this year as the MSO was pursuing the technical underpinnings of its own online video strategy, but obviously, TWC passed. (See Is Joost on the Block?) TWC did manage to hire one of Joost's brains, Jason Gaedtke, who joined the MSO this fall as a group vice president. (See Gaedtke Jumps From Joost, Joins TW Cable .)

The sale to Adconian comes about five months after Joost threw a Hail Mary, laying off nearly all employees and trying its hand as a white-label video platform. Joost had also switched technical gears, dumping its peer-to-peer approach in favor of being an in-browser, Flash-based video service. (See Joost Reorgs to Focus on Video Platform.)

Adconion will pick up Joost's white label video management strategy, particularly in the area of online video advertising, using to showcase clients' "branded entertainment content." Joost's original plan to be a destination for premium content looks all but dead.

Adconion says its content network reaches about 300 million unique users per month and has been serving more than 80 million video streams per day across about 2,000 Websites.

Last week, the company signed its first long-term licensing partnership, an exclusive deal to handle display and video ad-serving systems for Swiss firm Goldbach Media Group.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:52:05 PM
re: Joost Sells Off Scraps

So what you're saying is that "Content is king ?" ;)

Interesting then that the main site for premium content Hulu really is an joint venture by the existing players in the media and broadcast space already. The technology used here is pretty standard, but as you pointed out the technology was almost irrelevant. Clearly the barriers to entry for new players are quite high.

I really enjoyed the original Project Venice client and it was a different way to watch content (although the lack of decent content was always a concern), with useful interactive features and plugins, but that has all gone in favour of some flash based players and a portal format. Doesn't seem like a step forward to me...

Pete Baldwin
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:52:05 PM
re: Joost Sells Off Scraps

Once you started seeing other online video startups emerge, it was clear that Joost wasn't going to make it. They all looked so much the same. The technology was secondary; it was all going to come down to who got the best deals to carry mainstream content.

Having said that, I'm surprised Vudu is still around - but look what they're doing. Miles away from what all these startups were offering at first.

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:52:03 PM
re: Joost Sells Off Scraps

All the on-line video players are a joke and a waste of money/effort.

While I am not a fan of Netflix they are the only ones that has their act together.




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