As Joost has announced a number of changes including the stepping down of CEO Mike Volpi and changing its strategy to focus on providing white label online video platforms for media companies, it could be worth thinking about what went wrong.
Om Malik at gigaom.com provides a good analysis. The key thing that Om and many others point at is lack of good content which is something I fully second. Many also claim that going for an application rather than web browser was a key mistake, but I think a bigger problem was that they weren’t able to capitalize on the potential benefits of an appplication in providing a superior user experience. The user experience of Joost was not very good and included technical problems as well as difficulties finding even the good content that was there. As we have seen with Spotify, it is actually possible to create viral growth of a consumer-facing application if you provide tools for spreading (such as collaborative playlists and embedded playlists) as well as a great user experience.