Checking out the new Joost
Since I’ve been clear on how much I approve of Hulu’s layout, I thought I should go check out the new flash-based Joost player and see if it holds up. I have to say I’m already a little swayed when the email confirming that I’ve signed up starts out “hey, good-looking.” Maybe that’s how desperate I’m getting for external affirmation as my 40th birthday nears. Today, a telemarketer asked me if my dad was home, so that was also helpful. (Contact B&C’s NY offices for information on where to send gifts, schwag, booze and so forth.)
Ok, I’m all signed up now and true, it does look a lot more like Hulu. It offers channels, most popular shows and videos, random picks and social networking. The streaming starts as soon as I arrive, which is good and bad because I don’t necessarily want to watch this episode of The Cho Show. The player is smooth and simple — overall, I’m a fan of the new format.
Still, I don’t think I would go hang out at Joost unless I was really into checking out random videos (and some people certainly are – see YouTube for evidence). I go to video sites to see something specific – like the hot digital short of the moment — so for Joost to get my attention, it would need to offer content that was recommended to me by a source I trusted or that I couldn’t get anywhere else.
Joost hopes to draw people in with its social networking: “People have always relied on their friends’ recommendations to figure out which movies they want to watch, or talked about their favorite TV shows and moments with friends and colleagues — and now Joost has combined those real-life experiences in one online destination," said Mike Volpi, CEO, Joost in a statement. "Our integrated social tools make it easier than ever for people to find the shows, film and music they want to watch, and to form communities around that content, which ultimately enriches their overall experience."
Maybe that’s true but I have actual friends to recommend TV shows and movies to me, and I already spend too much time on Facebook (stop reading, B&C editors! – all I do is work, really!) so how much more social networking do we need? Anyway, I give Joost an A for effort but my loyalty to Hulu has not yet been won.