The online video portal Joost is changing its strategy, while the current SVP of engineering Matt Zelesko will take over as CEO. Rather than offering videos to the general public, the company will focus on providing white label online video platforms for media companies.
Zelesko takes the place of Mike Volpi, who has stepped down as CEO, but will remain actively involved as chairman of the board, according to a company statement. Stacey Seltzer, currently SVP of international business development and content acquisition, will run the business operations.
Joost plans to make its white label video platform commercially available to media companies around the world.
Joost will reorganize and restructure its business. A core team in New York and London will work on providing solutions, as well as operating and supporting Joost.com and its associated video applications.
Joost also will wind down operations in its Leiden, The Netherlands, development centre. For the time being, the video portal will remain open.
In the Joost blog Volpi writes: “In these tough economic times, it’s been increasingly challenging to operate as an independent, ad-supported online video platform. In order to position ourselves well for the future, we began investigating additional lines of revenue for Joost.”
The end of Joost as we know it comes at the time when online video is gaining popularity, with web properties such as Google’s YouTube and Hulu stealing the limelight.
Joost was founded in 2006 by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, creators of Kazaa and Skype. Expectations ran high and possibly too high to be fulfilled.
In hindsight, Joost was too late to give up its proprietary player, which had to be downloaded. The company also failed to attract enough high profile content, and with disappointing viewing figures was unable to build a strong base of advertisers.