It looks as though the once high-and-mighty Joost is running out of juice.
Joost, the peer-to-peer Internet TV service that once raised $45 million in 2006 from investors such as CBS, Viacom, and Sequoia Capital Index Ventures, is revamping its tech platform [last100] with a Web-based service that requires only a plug-in to play in browsers. It’s due sometime this summer.
Currently Joost requires a downloaded desktop client to play peer-to-peer content. It works with Microsoft operating systems XP and Vista and Apple’s OS X (but Intel processors only).
The Web plug-in is clearly a move to stay afloat and relative amid the success of an online streaming site like Hulu, but two of Joost’s biggest investors, CBS and Viacom, have little to say about the service these days.
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman was less than enthusiastic about Joost in an interview with paidContent, which asked: “Is the service where he [Dauman] thought it would be?”
“We come at Joost or any other platforms from the point of view that we cannot predict — nor did we in that case or any other case — predict which ones are going to be hugely successful, moderately successful, which won’t work,” he said.
Nothing like the avoidance jig.
Will Viacom invest in round two? PaidContent doesn’t think so, leaving Joost’s future and ability to raise second-round funding uncertain.
“We did receive equity in connection with our original deal and we’re happy where we are,” Dauman said. “I don’t think it’s fair to them for me to comment.”
So much for a glowing endorsement.
Investors like CBS and Viacom aside, another sign of Joost’s imminent Deadpool status comes from consumers who were once enthusiastic about Joost’s service and potential. Now they’re saying things on various blogs like:
“It [Joost] is like soooo 20 minutes ago. Hulu is much better.”
“Joost — that was so Thursday.”
“I have it installed on my laptop but I don’t think I’ve used it in the past 6 months. Thanks for the reminder to un-install.”