Joost Forced To Reinvent Itself Again

Joost, one of the most overhyped startups since the last bubble burst, will restructure itself to focus on providing back-end services to other video players, says AllthingsD.

CEO Mike Volpi, who last year spearheaded the company’s last reinvention, has been let go, and SVP of engineering Matt Selesko will replace him. Around 100 employees will be laid off.

It was reported in April 209 that Joost was trying to sell itself, with Time Warner expressing interest in the company. But that didn’t work out. And no surprise. As we said then, “While Time Warner Cable probably doesn’t need Joost’s technology, content deals, mediocre traffic, or crappy brand, they’re all better than nothing if the price is right.”

Joost started out as a Web TV site where users had to download the Joost player. Soon it became obvious people preferred not to download the player, but watch videos online. Joost tried unsuccessfully to compete in the online space, as AllthingsD notes:

By last fall, the company had retooled and began offering video via the browser like everyone else, but has never been able to generate a significant audience. In November, a month after the company launched its Web browser, it said it was attracting 2.1 million unique users worldwide — a fraction of YouTube’s audience, and well behind rivals like Hulu, MetaCafe, Veoh and DailyMotion.

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