Joost on a set-top-box within 18 months

Joost on a set-top-box within 18 monthsEarlier today I asked the question: how long before we see Internet TV service, Joost, running on some kind of a set-top-box? Within “the next 18 months”, answers CEO Mike Volpi, during a video interview conducted by Liz Gannes over at NewTeeVee*, to coincide with Joost’s full public launch.

Volpi explains that Joost’s current user base is made up of a younger “early adopter” demographic who are comfortable with viewing content from the Internet TV service on a PC or Mac, as they already do when “popping in a DVD” or browsing sites like YouTube. However, for Joost to go mainstream, the service will need to run on other platforms.

“Over the long term I think we kind of expect that… we have to have to other platforms that attach to the television set because we are delivering a high quality viewing experience”, says Volpi.

“When you want to reach out to 35 – 40 – 45 – 50 year old kind of demographic you really have to have the television as a viewing platform. Our entire design is oriented around that. Those kind of folks are not early adopters, they’re not as prone to trying out new things and changing their ways of doing things, so that’s not where we starting.”

As it stands, Volpi doesn’t think Joost is quite ready for mass consumption.

“I wouldn’t expect the mainstream to go with Joost [yet]. I would expect the mainstream would probably get to Joost when they see the platform on television.”

When can we expect to see Joost on a set-top-box?

“As soon as we can get it to work right and we have some good partners, because we won’t do the hardware, we’ll rely on partners. But, you know, the next 18 months.”, Volpi tells NewTeeVee.

As previously noted, whether those partners will be consumer electronic companies who sell direct to consumers and whose products run on the “open” Internet or manufacturers who target telco or cable companies who already offer IPTV services running on their own “closed”networks, remains to be seen. Although, right now, the former looks the most likely.

* Our request for an interview with a high level exec. at Joost was recently turned down as the company “isn’t currently doing interviews”. Go figure.

last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

9 Responses to “Joost on a set-top-box within 18 months”

  1. les says:

    The unfortunately thing with Joost not being available for interview is your UK based………and there is only one uk site that would get interviews, and they usually just plagarise other stories……perhaps that would help?

  2. G says:

    That’s a ridiculous title for the post. I saw that video – maybe you should post a link to that video before making such a splash over Volpi’s response. The STB question was answered with a hesitant “18 months” answer. Last but not the least – that was far from a convincing interview – to put it perspective – watch a Vopli interview while he was at CSCO – and you will see the lack of enthusiasm in his Joost interview.

  3. Steve O'Hear (editor) says:


    Of course Volpi knew what he was saying, he’s been saying the same thing for months, which is what I said in my previous post on Internet TV and STBs in general. The Joost crew having always played up the idea that Joost can in theory be made to run on hardware other than a PC e.g. a set-top-box or mobile device.

    The only new information is the 18 month time line, which, frankly, is a pretty long time to get a strategy to fruition (since they won’t build the hardware themselves), and is perfectly feasible. It may have been an off-the-cuff comment, but he was hardly pressed to make it.

    If Joost hasn’t partnered with a hardware device manufacturer within 18 months or there abouts, then it will likely have failed in the marketplace. 18 months or longer, Volpi was very clear that Joost needs to be on other platforms to go “mainstream”.

    Also, Volpi used to be ‘the router guy’ at CISCO, so he knows hardware, and CISCO already make media extenders.

  4. Matt_ says:

    In the early days when Joost staff members where more accessible ,open and avalible and when they coulkd talk in the Joost IRC channel without it becoming nation news they said that devices and Set top boxes are on the roadmap .

    In this Behind the Scenes blog post there is a video from January this year from Henrik Werdelin who is Joosts Chief Creative Officer saying that TV is where they want to be next .….html

  5. Matt_ says:

    Joost for some reason removed the videos so Youtube cames saves the day again

    Henrik Werdelin explains Joosts strategy

  6. steve says:

    Thanks Matt

  7. G says:

    From the horse’s mouth again –
    “Set-tops will wait: “When broadband reaches a point where 99.9 percent of viewers can watch it all day long without problems with it, then we can do a set-top box.””

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