Video-focused blog NewTeeVee offers its “Five Ways to Save Joost.” The first idea (integrate Hulu) involves getting more content onto the platform; but all the rest are about making the platform available to more users (through podcasting, with a web-based client, with a Firefox plug-in, and by putting it on the Wii). Lack of broad accessibility is a fair criticism. After all, the biggest driver of online video consumption hasn’t been broadband access, but rather the increasing availability of high-quality content. In Joost’s case, they have some pretty good content, but it’s not readily available as content from other online video providers; you have to download a client in order to watch. And with so much good content available elsewhere online without that hassle, I agree that they either need to find some seriously premium content, or make the content they have more readily accessible. (Or both.)
By the way, don’t get me wrong: broadband is a key driver of — in fact, a prerequisite for — mainstream online video consumption. And of course the media companies probably wouldn’t be posting so much video content if broadband was still in its infancy. But the fact remains that we’ve been at critical mass for broadband for several years now, while it’s only in the last year that a wealth of high-quality content has come online. So content, not broadband, is the biggest reason the number of Europeans watching online video has more than doubled in the last year.
It’s also interesting that people are thinking about how to “save” Joost. Back in May and June I ran into Joost’s Eric Clemenceau at Ad:tech Germany and in Cannes and at about five other advertising industry events. He kept joking about how he had the easiest job in the world, promoting a service that all the media were already talking about and that all the advertisers already wanted to use. And he was right. So it’s amazing to look back and see how much momentum Joost lost in the past six months. I disagree that they need to be “saved,” but they certainly need to reclaim some of that lost momentum in order to compete successfully with all the other online video options consumers (and advertisers) now have.