Don’t count out Joost just yet. We recently wrote it still has a heartbeat despite the fact they made the wrong bet years ago by underestimating the power of the web for watching videos. They finally switched to Flash late last year, giving up on P2P, and introduced some social networking features around the video viewing experience to battle established players like Hulu, TV.com and YouTube.
Now it’s taking a step beyond that by forming an alliance with Europe’s leading social networking service, Belgium-based Netlog, theoretically expanding its reach to 40 million people. The deal will allow Netlog’s audience to access Joost’s video library straight from its starting page, where they’ll be able to view, share and comment on 57,000+ music videos, TV shows, etc. Activity will be pushed to users’ news feeds, a feature Netlog copied from Facebook like many other community services did after its enormous success became obvious.
Netlog is growing fast, especially in Eastern Europe and the Middle-East, and it has famously replaced leading local social networks in many countries in Europe and Arabic speaking regions as community portal of choice thanks to its viral nature and extensive language translation program. Targeting mostly young people, it’s been actively looking to expand its array of entertainment services, most recently with the addition of multi-player games and now with videos from Joost. I think both will benefit from this and further anchor their position in Europe while everyone seems to be looking at what happens in the U.S and Asia.
Netlog raised €5 million from Index Ventures in April 2007. For the sake of comparison, Joost raised $45 million, coincidentally in part from the same investor, who we recently reported raised a new €350 million venture fund.