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Cloud-based video streaming service Voddler has launched its LiveShelf global video streaming service, featuring ViewShare, a solution the Stockhom-based company suggests creates a legal way for consumers to acquire and share movies.
The global roll-out – albeit in beta initially – covers Sweden and Spain, with the rest of Europe and Russia by the end of the week, with subsequent weeks taking in North and South America, Asia and Oceania.
Marcus Bäcklund, Voddler’s CEO, noted that up to now, obtaining and sharing content has been dominated by piracy, whereas Voddler’s service connects viewers and content owners directly with each other, via an online LiveShelf, for video streaming to connected devices anywhere.
It also allows users to invite their friends to watch the films they have on their LiveShelf, whether uploaded or purchased online, via the ViewShare feature. According to the company, this makes Voddler the world’s first legal film sharing service and the first streaming service to offer premium content globally from the world’s leading content owners.
Voddler LiveShelf is powered by VoddlerNet, Voddler’s patented and proprietary streaming solution, which has already been streaming movies to 1.2 million users across Scandinavia and Spain for the past few years.
Bäcklund said that content owners now had an unprecedented opportunity to stream their movies and series to consumers globally. Users decide which of these films to add to their individual LiveShelf by buying or renting them directly online. Users can also upload their own existing movie files, and they can then invite friends to watch movies on their LiveShelf with Voddler ViewShare.
“ViewShare embraces the fact that people have always lent movies to each other. It lets us all continue to invite our friends to watch the films we have on the LiveShelf just like we have always done in the living room,” added Bäcklund, who claimed the service would offer twice the bit rate of other VoD service providers. “We’ll be able to stream 3D easily. It will be fantastic performance, because we’re operating on a ‘many-to-one’ basis rather than ‘one-to-many’.”
Voddler is currently in advanced discussions with a range of content owners in advance of the service’s full launch, claiming that it has three out of the six leading Hollywood studios on board. According to Bäcklund, this level of involvement reflects their concern to reclaim the $6 billion in revenues that “just vapourised” as a result of piracy. “Three years ago, the studios would have thrown me out and called security.”
Although unwilling to name any content protection or rights management partners, Bäcklund said that during the beta phase, Voddler would be working with “all solutions” and suggested that the technology was secure. “It’s in the DNA. We slice up all the files.” He confirmed that users would need to own the asset they wished to upload.