The Sunday Times reports troubled Web-TV service Joost “is expected to reign in its global amitions and focus solely on the US market.”*
The Times’ rationale: securing international rights to content has become a slog, and Joost has been “overshadowed” by the success of BBC’s iPlayer in the UK and Hulu in the US.
The BBC’s iPlayer, a 30-day playback service for BBC content, isn’t really a Joost competitor. Hulu is a bigger problem for Joost, and part of the reason its developing a Web version of its service.
It’s true, however, that Joost needs to make inroads in the US, or it’s probably toast. The US is where advertising is shifting online fastest, and where rates are highest. It doesn’t do you much good to show clips to Estonians if you can’t make money showing them to Americans.
Joost’s major investors are US-based, as are its biggest content parters (CBS and Viacom), and Joost recently shifted its technical operations to New York from The Netherlands.
*Totally not true, says PaidContent, which gets its info directly from a Joost PR person. Except that there’s enough wiggle-room in Joost’s denial to squeeze a couple elephants through: Joost isn’t “restructuring”, but it is “realigning”.
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