Joost opens to the public today and NewTeeVee has a video interview with CEO Mike Volpi. The company started handing out beta invites many months ago and brilliantly enlisted the help of tech bloggers (ZNF included) to broaden the invitation process while still making it look exclusive. Then the much-hyped, TV-on-the-Internet application started getting some negative press and consumer interest simmered down a bit.
Despite the company’s funding and incredible connections, Joost can only be successful if people like using it. I’m still skeptical, and here’s what I think is working against it:
- Those of us (tech geeks and early adopters) who tried the beta service and left frustrated. What incentive do we have to give Joost a second try?
- Content, content, content. Even with the recent addition of some MLB playoff content and CBS shows, Joost is hardly a clearinghouse for all the TV you’d want, which means Joost has to work hard to maintain viewership while consumers continue trolling for other places to watch online video.
- No strategy for getting Joost TV to the TV, though apparently the company is looking for hardware partners. Last100 points out that many online video services have now developed a set-top/media-extender strategy so viewers can watch video on their living-room sets. Joost doesn’t have one yet (though SlingCatcher promises a stream-anything platform), and the question is whether Joost really believes it will generate an audience that wants to watch TV only on a computer screen.
- The ever-present bandwidth dilemma. The bandwidth problem is hardly isolated to Joost (and Joost may even have a leg up on competitors), but let’s say the service and others like it become extremely popular. How are the ISPs going to react to so much P2P traffic? And what effects will users feel?
If you have an opinion on Joost, let us know. I’d be particularly interested in anyone using and loving the service now.