In a long-overdue move, Joost is getting ready to nix its desktop video client in favor of a purely web based portal. The service, developed by the creators of Skype and Kazaa, launched to considerable fanfare last year but has fallen off the radar lately due to its lack of interesting content but also to the fact that it requires a desktop client to use – meaning that you can’t just log on to the web from any computer to access your account or watch videos.
But the shift online might be too little too late for Joost, though. For starters, the move will still require users to download a separate browser plug-in that promises to deliver better video quality than the competition, but at the same time limits its potential audience. Secondly, another free service, Hulu, is already doing what Joost intends to do – and it simply kills Joost in terms of content. Making things even harder, other for-pay video on demand heavy-weights, such as Netflix and Amazon, also feature premium content and already have a massive install base.
Still, it’ll be interesting to see how this latest move can help Joost compete in the increasingly crowded online video market.