Joost Changes Strategies, Plans to Focus on White-Label Solutions

Jun 30, 2009 12:30 PM PST
AMSTERDAM — Joost, which never gained the traction of competitors YouTube and Hulu, has decided to switch gears.

The company said Tuesday that it will dump its video service and focus on building white-label platforms for video aggregators and cable and satellite operators.

Joost’s delivery system was developed by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, the entrepreneurs who launched the Kazaa file-sharing service and then developed Skype, the Internet telephone system that was bought by eBay Inc. for $2.6 billion in 2005.

Friis and Zennstrom hoped for a strong ad-supported model, but the two-year experiment initially known as The Venice Project began crumbling in April, when Sony Pictures pulled its content.

When it first launched, insiders said at the time that it wouldn’t take long before the service streamed porn, whether soft, hard or in-between. But the company never offered adult content.

Joost announced that Mike Volpi has stepped aside as CEO but will remain chairman.

"After much analysis, we have decided to change our focus and to start providing white-label online video platforms for media companies and distributors," Volpi said. "We have built a solid technology platform that there is demand for in the marketplace, and look forward to this new chapter for our company.”

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