I always thought Joost was an interesting product. The desktop app interface was good, and despite the fact that there wasn’t that much to look at in terms of content, I thought it was going places. Recently Joost launched their browser-based version in order to compete with sites like Hulu, who’ve been successful in reaching large audiences through content streaming straight from the browser.
So I went in to take a look at the new browser-based Joost, and all is not well – particularly when it comes to experience. I login, and I get to my Home. First thing that happens, Joost asks me to install a plugin – which deep down means “browser, but not really”. So I bite that bullet and what do I get as a reward? A 15 second ad – great. And after I watch one of the videos that was tagged as part of Joost’s “Our Picks” section (a 2 minute video on robots), I get another ad. Thanks Joost. But no, thanks.
If you’re going to ask someone to sign-up for a product, at least reward them in some way that doesn’t envolve the feeling of being lured into installing stuff and watching ads. Not only will people just close the browser window and leave, they’re probably going to remember the crappy experience, tell their friends about it, and just stay away – quite possibly, for ever.
I know solving the internet TV problem is tough, but if you’re going to start somewhere, you should start by not frustrating your visitors – it’ll just remind them of good old TV. You know – the one we all stopped watching a long time ago. In fact, I think I feel like I had more control over the old one – at least then I could zap those ads with a flick of the finger.
PS: Where’s the real content? I’ve seen that video on robots, a video-clip by Pink and some report on summer festivals (and a total of 4 ads to go with those). Joost was called the future of television before, but honestly, if all TV is going to have is robot videos, pop music and awkward comics, I’d rather read a book.
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