Having failed to compete against the likes of YouTube and Hulu, Joost is retreating from the consumer market and will instead focus on building white label video platforms for “cable and satellite providers, broadcasters and video aggregators” – essentially licensing its technology to third parties. As part of the restructuring plan, Joost will also close its Netherlands office, lay off a large number of employees and appoint a new CEO.
Despite plans to focus on other lines of revenue, its Joost.com portal will continue to operate for the time being as they still have programming deals in place with a handful of networks; including CBS, Viacom and Warner Bros. The service officially launched in 2007 and was positioned to become the go-to destination for professionally produced video – mostly because of the reputation of its founders who also created Skype and Kazaa. However, Joost never quite resonated with users.
Some of its early mistakes included requiring users to download a software client, as opposed to YouTube which allowed streaming video directly from the site, and failing to sign the kind of premium content that made Hulu popular. They eventually re-launched as a web-based service and signed new content, but apparently it was too little too late.