A Little Boost for Joost: Mobile Ads on the iPhone
Web video publishers are still trying to get their heads around their existing sites, which attract plenty of eyeballs but not much in the way of ad dollars. But at some point, they’re going to have to figure out what will happen as video moves from the PC to the phone.
Here’s one small step in that evolution: Joost, the once-hyped video site, is going to start selling ads for clips it shows via its Apple (AAPL) iPhone app. Doing the heavy lifting will be FreeWheel, a well-regarded start-up that already handles ad-serving for some of the Web’s biggest video players.
As with video, everyone knows the mobile ad market will be worth something–maybe a lot–one day. But right now, there’s no there there. The Internet Advertising Bureau, for instance, doesn’t even bother to break out mobile ads in its annual breakdown of digital marketing spend.
Still, Joost needs any boost it can get: Like a lot of other video start-ups in the past few years, the company has raised an awful lot of money but hasn’t made much of a dent in the market. Maybe it can get some traction by staking an early claim to mobile video. Last week, Veoh, another well-funded video site chasing after the same eyeballs, made drastic cuts to its staff and announced that it would put its resources into a new browser-based app.
Separately, the Joost announcement is a nice get for FreeWheel, which is staffed by veterans of Google’s (GOOG) DoubleClick, and which last I heard, was looking for a significant funding round.