Joost retreating to US, BBC iPlayer reigns supreme in the UK

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joost_logo.gifAccording to a report in the Sunday Times business section, online video portal Joost could be about to retreat back to the US, following ongoing problems with getting media and sports companies to sell it global rights to show programming over the web.

“The company is expected to rein in its global ambitions to focus solely on the US market,” the article says. Of course, that’s a huge market, and it may be easier to convince rights holders to allow content to be shown within one country.

The Times suggests that the BBC’s iPlayer service has overshadowed Joost, although the BBC has the advantage of a massive audience to advertise to, and a range of programmes that appeal to a wide audience, which has led to up to half a million downloads per day.

Even forthcoming Kangaroo service, an online collaboration between the UK’s major terrestrial broadcasters, will only show programmes that have at some point been aired in Britain.

Joost has a lot of potential, despite its service not being unique, and it would be a great shame if it closes out visitors from outside the US. If it does, we may just have to flex our hacking muscles and spoof our IP address to continue watching.

(Via Sunday Times)

Andy Merrett