Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cynopsis: Weekender: Joost Aims for The Living Room, But Faces Big Hurdles

I read with interest today's weekend edition of Cynopsis by Daisy Whitney on Joost. While I think Joost has the potential to be the aggregator for all the best digital video on the web delivered to your screen, I don't expect it to replace cable operators "as their primary entertainment platform"; rather, I expect that Joost will only support the cable experience.

Cable programmers may provide "channels" or "videos" to the Joost platform, but they will never allow them to replace the revenue model that cable currently offers. Unless technology enables Joost to offer content directly and Joost is paying a fee comparable to cable for access to the same content that cable currently receives, the programming will be more additive to the current experience.

My expectation is that a company, like Comcast or Time Warner or through their partnership iN Demand, acquires Joost and adds the platform to the functionality of the cable box. The consumer than accesses all of this content regardless of the screen, either from the pc or the big TV screen, and even mobile phone. Yes phone, because the triple play will soon be the quadplay (fourplay is not a good marketing term.) And to cable programmers don't give away the farm; offering programming to all these endpoints provides great leverage for keeping license fees competitive.

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