Joost relaunch favours Flash over client

JoostIt’s no secret that Joost hasn’t been the success story its makers intended and so it seems they’ve decided to relaunch the TV app without the client. Yes, from now on Joost have announced they are a web-only application which doesn’t require any client download like before.

The main changes are that Joost now uses Adobe Flash to play movies and streams, has increased the amount of social interaction that’s possible between users and vastly increased the amount of content available on the site. This is a clear step in the direction of sites like Hulu and YouTube which are Joost’s main competitors. The new site is definitely slick allowing you to slide between clips effortlessly, watch the most popular clips or shows of the day and the general mix of stuff is good – everything from Usher videos to documentaries on Bruce Lee. The only annoying thing was a recurring advert for “TheCell.tv” which seemed to be in a foreign language for some reason.

Joost screenshot

Joost Chief Executive Mike Volpi said of the changes:

In order to really enhance the viewing experience and differentiate the Internet from TV, you can’t just regurgitate TV. You have to engage the community. Ultimately, the Internet is about community-building.

I’m not sure if I agree with this theory by Volpi. Internet TV apps live and die by the quality of the content they produce. I’m less interested in social interaction via P2P TV apps than I am by finding good quality content that’s streamed in high image quality. However, Joost have managed to sign up some big shows such as Friends and The Daily Show so that’s definitely a step in the right direction. That said, YouTube is launching its own assault on commercial programming by adding full-length shows such as “Beverly Hills 90210”, “MacGyver” and “Californication” via its “Theater View” player.

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