Looks like the final frame has been reached for Joost, the online video service originally started by Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis and then eventually sold to the Adconion Media Group: Adconion today announced that it would fold in and rebrand Joost Media into smartclip, a video advertising company that it bought in November 2011.
The company says it is making the move in order to better serve the U.S. market, where it is now launching services, and presumably believes that using one brand is stronger than using two.
Smartclip is a multi-screen video and brand advertising platform that offers ad formats for PCs, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, set-top boxes and connected TVs. Adconion claims that smartclip is already the leading European digital video advertising company, and it has more recently made inroads into Latin America and Australia. Adconion does not give details on how wide the reach is for smartclip, or how wide it was for Joost but does note that overall its wider video advertising distribution platform has a potential reach of 687 million unique users.
Adconion, which first started in video advertising in 2008, bought Joost in 2009 to enhance that platform. The service was originally formed by Zennstrom and Friis in 2006 with the intention of becoming a peer-to-peer-based premium video distribution platform.
On the strength of the founders’ popularity and that of its other P2P products, Skype and KaZaa, the pair got funding of around $45 million from investors including Sequoia, Index Ventures and CBS; lots of premium content deals; and some one million sign-ups to its beta. But with sustained traffic and business models failing to materialize, the service began to fizzle and was eventually sold to Adconion for an undisclosed amount. Adconion had actually, quietly suspended the Joost service at the end of April.