Joost ex-CEO blames broadcasters for problems

Former Joost CEO Mike Volpi has blamed the self-publishing model taken by broadcasters and media companies for the downfall of the video-on-demand service.

Mike Volpi
Mike Volpi

In an interview with The Guardian’s PaidContent, Volpi said the lack of exclusive content available to Joost meant the service’s content “wasn’t what we needed it to be”.

“Media companies have approached the sector with more of a self-publishing model, meaning the content comes from their websites as opposed to through aggregators,” he said. “The challenge that Joost had throughout its life was that it had virtually no access to exclusive content. Many people will make issue of the choice to go with peer-to-peer or not, to go with a client or not, but fundamentally the issue is the content wasn’t what we needed it to be. That’s probably the biggest lesson: people want to watch great content.”

Volpi, who stepped down as CEO last week but remains chairman of Joost, told PaidContent the service had achieved good growth, to 3.5m unique users worldwide, but the market changed after the collapse of Project Kangaroo and Disney’s move to work with Hulu.

Joost will now drop its consumer service to focus on business-to-business white-labelling, and Volpi has joined venture capital firm Index Ventures as a partner.

He said he believes the aggregator model will win out over the self-publishing model, and that Hulu could succeed in the UK.

“Hulu is a great company that has done an amazing job in the US,” said Volpi. “It obviously has access to amazing content. If it can find a way through whatever format – equity or payments or whatever – to get these programmes in the UK, I definitely think it will have an opportunity to succeed. If it doesn’t, then it’s going to be challenging for Hulu.”

This story first appeared on

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here