Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Joost Didn't - Tried to Sell ... Couldn't - Now What?

Joost -- the Internet TV service that launched in 2006 with an air of inevitable massive success -- has officially failed and is done (as anticipated several months ago when I wrote about the company). Joost simply couldn't compete with Hulu, despite its own traditional media roots. So, it tried to sell itself earlier this year, but couldn't.

So, what's a company to do? Re-invent itself of course. Joost now has a new CEO and shifts gears to try its hand at selling white box video platform services, apparently primarily focusing on large-scale media companies and enterprises (including cable and satellite operators and telcos). Lots of players, however, already are in this crowded space and focusing on that same market segment -- including Brightcove, Move Networks (which also just recently reinvented itself in the same manner as Joost) and Ooyala. The Ooyala situation is particularly worthy of "scratching of the head", since Ooyala has been Joost's partner to provide precisely the same kind of video platform services (in other words, Joost apparently will now compete directly with its partner).

Sorenson 360 is differentiated in several critical ways (we like to say we have re-imagined what such a service should be, and that is why we call it a "Video Distribution Network" or "VDN"): (1) we have a laser focus on what we call the "video professional" and the SMB space, a market segment we know extremely well because we already have massive numbers of customers in that segment via our "Squeeze" encoding products; (2) we are the only service that features client-side encoding which has a host of critical advantages over all the other guys (read more about that here); (3) we offer a full portfolio of services (Sorenson Spark, Sorenson Squeeze, Sorenson Squish, and Sorenson 360); and (4) our company has been a pioneer in Internet video for 14 years and has long been profitable with a rock solid balance sheet -- that means that we will be around in the future.