DRM’s Role in the Demise of Joost

I’ve written before about Joost, and while I didn’t predict their complete failure, I did predict one thing that some people seem to have missed: that their irrational faith in DRM was not a good sign. That faith led them to go down the proprietary client download route, and not (as Hulu and YouTube did) the more successful path of embedded Flash to deliver content via the browser. The result was obscurity, and ultimately death.

With reportedly millions down the Swanee, Joost is now the first major casualty of the cult of DRM – an idea that cannot work, should not work, and shows every sign of not working so far. So the adage still stands: if you base your business on the principle of preventing anyone copying your content, that business is destined to fail.

But the Joost affair may be a mere skirmish compared to the coming battle waged by News Corp. That, I think, is going to be a biggie.