A new version of Joost, the much hyped p2p Internet TV service from the founders of Skype, that will run in a Web browser is just weeks away, says CEO Mike Volpi in an interview with Silicon Alley Insider published today.
When Joost was first conceived of in 2006 it was pitched as the antidote to YouTube: an Internet TV service geared towards major content owners who required guarantees around copyright protection, and providing viewers with a higher quality “TV-like” experience. However, since then the online video landscape has changed dramatically, with many competitors syndicating professionally produced and network TV content online, on a mostly non-exclusive basis. And unlike the current version of Joost, the majority of competing services, such as Hulu, run in the browser and don’t require a separate download.
On that note, the new browser-based Joost will be seen as a complete re-launch of the service and a change in company strategy (see our recent post ‘Don’t turn off the life support just yet: Joost coming to the browser‘), but Volpi says that the service still has a “great brand and great content” and “ample cash to get the platform out, work out the kinks and accumulate users.”
On the issue of non-exclusive content, Volpi says that while the same programing is available in lots of places, “by packaging it and merchandising it better, hopefully we will be a better place to come to.”
At the same time, Volpi appeared to concede that, in the age of commodity content, targeting major content owners only won’t be enough to save Joost. Instead, the company will also need to “serve the purposes of the mid tail” as well:
“…the indie content, music videos, comedy channels, and so on. There are users out there that don’t know what they are going to watch today, or they want to browse in a genre. We will help them find what they’re looking for. We host a lot more indie content than Hulu — and we are doing a lot more work to distribute and sell advertising on that content.”
Read the full interview over at Silicon Alley Insider.