Joost is said to be preparing a “major retrenchment” of staff as part of a restructure that will see Joost abandon its global ambitions for the US only.
According to the Sunday Times, Joost has struggled to convince media and sports companies to sell it global rights, which are usually offered on a country by country basis. The Times reports that Joost still has money in the bank and “Joost is unlikely to close, however. “There are too many egos involved,” said one former employee.” Joost denied that staff would be retrenched, saying only that “There are some situations where staff have been re-aligned to better fit our needs.”
Erick wrote in October that the clock is ticking for Joost:
There’s a time bomb out there with Joost’s name on it. Full-screen, broadcast-quality video streams—the main selling point of Joost’s peer-to-peer Internet TV client software—is quickly coming to the Web….the vast majority of that video is not exclusive to Joost. All the Internet TV services are lining up the same content. And better-quality video is not going to remain a differentiator for long.
…Joost’s P2P approach is not a benefit to the consumer as much as it is a benefit to Joost (because it offloads the bandwidth costs of the most popular video streams to the users themselves). But streaming video on the Web is about to get a whole lot cheaper—and as Web video advertising takes off, a whole lot more lucrative. Some people argue that once the economics kick in, centralized Web streaming will offer a better, more consistent viewing experience than P2P streaming.
Set up by Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, Joost offered much promise, but has failed to deliver anything unique at a time when online video became the hottest vertical on the web. The restructure cant hurt, but with ongoing intense competition, Joost may well be on borrowed time.