Joost Hits 1 Million. "Big Whoop"?

Henry Blodget's new AlleyInsider (in Beta!) hits it just right on Joost. I'd been quietly ashamed of having downloaded the application on few computers, watched the captivating videos a few times, then moving on to other things without revisiting very much. I, and most people, end up watching a lot more video that doesn't take over my screen, and does allow me to do other things, share it, comment, etc. I don't -- unless I'm watching a Sopranos DVD or an episode from iTunes of Studio 60 like video that takes over my screen (and even then, I can shrink the video to do something else if I'd like).

AlleyInsider, which Rafat Ali of PaidContent (for whom I'm helping put together an October conference) turned me on to yesterday, questions what the 1 million user number really means (what DOES it mean in a world where rapid scaling brings usership to 10 times that in no time?) and whether anything that's really more of a marketing want than a user desire will be popular.

This is the classic dilemma for publishers and content producers: balancing the desire for control vs. the need to have uptake. Either you've got to produce content that's SO great that people will forge through a lot to get it – pay for a movie ticket, buy a DVD, put up with difficult technology – OR make it easy to see and share it in multiple ways in multiple places, let the users be your distributors and PR mouthpieces.

Most content falls in between. It's good stuff a lot of people want to see, but not so much that they'll pay a lot or fight through barriers. At the same time, publishers don't want to give up complete control of something that has value. I recommend giving up some control. But that's another story.

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