Peter Kafka

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Going, Going…Most of What’s Left of Joost Goes to Adconion Ad Network

dark-knight-burningThe tale of Joost, the would-be online video heavyweight, is almost at an end. Most of the company’s remaining assets have been sold off to Adconion Media Group, the two companies announced today.

What exactly did Adconion buy? Some of Joost’s technology, as well as its trademark, and about a dozen of the company’s remaining 25 employees, a spokeswoman says.

So what does that leave? Does any part of the original Joost survive as an operating company? “I believe so,” says the spokeswoman, who is going to get back to us about that.

Price? Your guess is as good as mine. But I’m guessing it’s not going to be very much, and nothing close to what investors like Sequoia, Index and Viacom (VIA) were hoping when they plowed $45 million into the company more than two years ago. Index, by the way, is also an investor in Adconion and led an $80 million C funding round in February 2008.

In any case, this is all a matter of “i” dotting and “t” crossing, as Joost has officially been in hospice mode since June, when the company laid off most of its employees and replaced CEO Mike Volpi. Prior to that, Volpi and his investors had been trying to broker a sale of the company, hoping that they could convince a big infrastructure player like Comcast (CMCSA) or Time Warner Cable (TWC) to bail it out.

No dice, though Time Warner Cable did end up hiring some technical help from Joost.

ADCONION MEDIA GROUP ACQUIRES JOOST ASSETS

New Capabilities Provide Advertisers, Content Owners and Publishers with an End-to-End
Cross-Channel Video Solution

SANTA MONICA, CALIF. – NOVEMBER 24, 2009 — Adconion Media Group (www.adconion.com), the largest independent global audience and content network, announced today that it has acquired certain assets from privately-held Joost, the online video service. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Video is a top priority for our company, and through the acquisition of the Joost assets we will be able to provide advertisers, content owners and website publishers with an end-to-end global video platform and cross-channel video and display ad-serving solution,” said Tyler Moebius, CEO, Adconion Media Group. “This acquisition immediately brings additional scale and content to the Adconion video pre-roll network for clients who are looking for a safe, cost-effective alternative to achieve the maximum value of online video advertising. We’ll also continue to operate Joost.com, providing clients with a destination site to showcase and distribute their branded entertainment content.”

In June, Joost announced a change in its business strategy to focus on providing white-label video platforms, and Adconion plans to pursue this strategy. On Friday, Adconion announced its first long-term licensing partnership as the exclusive display and video ad-serving solution for the Goldbach Media Group in Europe.

The acquisition of Joost assets adds many dimensions to Adconion’s existing video services and further will solidify its position in the online video and content syndication market. Prior to the acquisition, Adconion offered targeted distribution of content, including video and television commercials, to audiences around the world via Adconion.TV; as well as customized branded entertainment solutions for clients through its exclusive relationship with the digital studio RedLever. Through the Joost acquisition, Adconion.TV will add to its library of professionally-produced video content available for targeted pre-roll advertisements across 2,000 premium publishers.

Janus Friis, co-founder of Joost, said, “Over the past few months we have been actively exploring strategic options for Joost, and have concluded that the sale of certain of its assets to Adconion is in the best interests of Joost. Adconion has a strong technological platform and a compelling business model, and we believe that both businesses will benefit as a result of this acquisition.”

A leader in advertising innovation, targeting and distribution, Adconion reaches nearly 300 million unique users on a monthly basis. Prior to the Joost acquisition, Adconion was serving more than 80 million video streams per day to targeted audiences across 2,000 global websites.


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