Who Knew? Joost Makes a Better Ad Network Than a Video Portal

For those that questioned the acquisition of Joost by ad firm Adconion last year, or the subsequent transformation of the online video portal into a video ad network, the early results are in, and they are surprisingly positive. Hidden in yesterday’s comScore (s SCOR) release of February stats was the tidbit that Joost led all video ad networks in terms of actual reach — that is, penetration of ads delivered to online video viewers.
While the Adconion Video Ad Network was just tenth in terms of potential reach, with 45.5 million unique viewers and 26.1 percent viewer penetration, the Joost Video Network had 38.3 percent penetration of online video viewers for actual reach delivered. That compares to BBE, with 18.3 percent actual reach, and BrightRoll, with 18.1 percent actual reach.
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Joost Resurrected As a Video Ad Network

Joost, just a few months after having its assets purchased by Adconion Media Group, has found new life as a video ad network. The just-launched Joost Video Network will serve up in-banner and in-stream ads to targeted audiences.

Joost Acquired By Online Ad Firm Adconion

After three years of trying — and failing — to make a business out of running an online video portal, Joost has been acquired by advertising and branded entertainment firm Adconion Media Group.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but the acquisition will come as little surprise¬† to anyone that’s followed the company’s downward trajectory after launching in 2007 with more than $45 million in funding from heavy hitters such as Sequoia Capital, Index Ventures, Viacom (s VIA), CBS (s CBS) and Chinese tycoon Li Ka-shing.

The company was rumored to be up for sale back in the spring, with Time Warner Cable (s TWC) topping the list of potential acquirers. From an operational standpoint, Joost has been badly hobbled since June, when it announced that it had laid off most of its staff and was trying to reshape itself as a white-label video management platform.

In its press release, Adconion said that it intends to continue pursuing the video management business, and that the addition of the Joost assets will further “solidify its position in the online video and content syndication market.” Adconion’s business is all about mass distribution of ads and branded entertainment, so having a video management platform like Joost makes sense. The company also said it would continue to operate Joost.com, both as a place to serve its own ads, and as a showcase for branded entertainment content that it produces.

Paid Distribution Becomes a Mainstay of Web Series

So you’ve made your awesome web show, now what? You’re not successful unless you get an audience. And attracting views for your video series is not a simple feat.

tubemoguladageDistribution and promotion are recurring conundrums in online video, as we saw (most recently) on Friday, when we took a close look at John August’s pilot for The Remnants on Friday, which without a sponsor and a logistical miracle seems unlikely to add further episodes. Devoid of the rigid infrastructure of TV, and in the face of the trillions of other things competing for people’s attention online, how are you going to get them to show up to watch your show on a regular basis?

A TubeMogul survey of 50 web series found they lost 64 percent of their audiences from their first to second episode. We’ve seen similar trends in our own research. Ad Age’s Michael Learmonth, who requested the TubeMogul study, concludes the answer is to pay for distribution.

Paid distribution and distribution guarantees — where shows cut deals to get placement as if they were ad campaigns — are phenomena we’re seeing more and more these days. To be distributed like an ad, a video doesn’t necessarily have to be branded content, though any integrated sponsorship would travel along with the video itself. And (duh) sponsors are much more willing to participate if they know people will actually see your video.

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Vid Biz: CBS, NetfliXbox, Adconion

CBS Drops Moblogic; network stops creating new episodes; host Lindsay Campbell is still under contract with CBS, but evaluating new opportunities. (Moblogic: MediaMemo; Campbell: Beet.TV)
Netflix on Xbox Missing Sony Movies; omission not because of ill will between competing game console makers, rather Netflix didn’t get the proper licensing work done. (CNET)
Adconion Buys KTV Digital Media; acquisition will be used to create branded entertainment division to make content for advertising partners. (TVWeek)
Queen Rania of Jordan Receives YouTube Visionary Award; the queen honored for her work encouraging youth to overcome stereotypes of Muslims and Arabs. (Variety)
NBC Kicks Off “iCue” Facebook App; game challenges viewers to answer questions based on footage from real news events. (MediaWeek)
MySpace “UGC” Movie to Open Jan. 27; Faintheart gets a one-day, free-of-charge screening in UK cinemas and online. (The Hollywood Reporter) (See our previous coverage.)
GazProm Completes RuTube Acquisition; the YouTube of Russia believed to be picked up for $15 million. (TechCrunch)