Commentary

Vdio. Competition for Netflix?

VDIOIs the Web ready for another video service? Janus Friis -- co-creator of KaZaA, Skype, Joost and Rdio -- seems to think so as he readies the launch of Vdio.

What is Vdio? Not even GigaOm, which first reported its existence, knows for sure, but all signs point to an unlimited movie subscription service a la Netflix.

“VDIO lets you instantly watch the best in TV and movies, right now,” the company said in a statement to GigaOm.

Still in closed beta, Vdio’s only official promise is that it’s “coming soon,” and is scheduled to launch first in the UK. Along with the slogan “Are You Watching?,” Vdio’s current splash page highlights popular movies like The Dark Knight and Karate Kid, as well as TV shows like Mad Men and The Tudors. Whether the startup has secured the rights to carry any of this content, however, is not yet known. 

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What is known, according to GigaOm, is that Vdio has so far raised $5.6 million, and boasts an all star management team led by Ian Aaron, formerly president of the TV Guide Television Group.

Also well known is the failure of Friis, along with longtime partner Niklas Zennstrom, to get any traction with their last video venture, Joost. Seriously over-hyped, Joost’s downfall was largely attributed to a lack of content partners and, hence, quality content.

Still -- especially if the content featured on Vdio’s flash page is any indication – Friis seems to have developed a better appreciation for media partnerships.

What’s more, having just officially sold Skype to Microsoft, Friis is said to be itching for another opportunity to tackle online video. 

Also, Netflix’s recent missteps have opened a clear window of opportunity for existing and potential rivals. So much so, in fact, that Netflix’s woes reportedly contributed to Hulu’s owners’ decision not to sell the company.

2 comments about "Vdio. Competition for Netflix?".
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  1. Darryl Larue from Broadband Enterprises, October 18, 2011 at 5:44 p.m.

    Good luck Vdio. Let me know when you have $1B for some CW content or $100MM for Madmen.

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, October 18, 2011 at 6:01 p.m.

    If making missteps was all it took to doom a company, Facebook would have been dead a long time ago. Users get over being upset once they realize there is no equivalent service that is fully formed.

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