Advanced Television

Rdio launches Vdio streaming video

April 4, 2013

By Colin Mann

The founders of subscription music provider Rdio have launched the company’s new video service – Vdio – boasting deals from major networks and studios.

According to Rdio Chief Executive Drew Larner, the intention is for users to get ideas about what to watch based on the music they and their friends love, and the other way around. “There’s just so much interplay between film, TV and music. We just think this is going to be a natural combination,” he said.

In contrast with services such as Netflix, Vdio will not operate a subscription model at this stage as the most recent TV shows and movies are not yet available that way. Larner suggested that could at some future stage adopt a business model that would offer customers a selection of movies, TV shows and music for one price.

In a Rdio blog post, the company says that when it launched in 2010, its ambition was to design the best experience for the watch-and-listen-anywhere, share-everything, stream-it-now era of content distribution. “We started with Rdio and built the most beautiful way to discover, listen, and share an endless stream of music — 18 million songs. Today, we’re previewing our next step on that journey, Vdio, a beautiful new way to buy, rent, and share your favourite movies and TV shows with your friends, in real-time. We’re offering Rdio Unlimited subscribers a special preview of Vdio, right now, right here,” it says.

According to the company, the first thing to notice about Vdio is that it’s designed to solve the ‘what to watch’ problem. “It’s not just that we’ve got amazing content, but that the experience is now geared to get you from searching to watching faster. We’re introducing the notion of Sets — playlists for TV shows and movies — so anyone can make and share lists of their favourites, making it easier than ever to discover new stuff. Or, you can just check out what your friends are watching in the moment and jump in. Beyond that, Vdio has the beautiful design and social features that people love about Rdio, with plenty more to come,” it promises.

In terms of available content, the service suggests “everything from the newest releases to cult classics and a whole lot in between from the major studios and networks”. Right now, subscribers can watch Skyfall, Life of Pi, Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln, The Hobbit, and thousands of other hit movies. “You can also watch zombie heads explode on The Walking Dead, tune in to the Dowager’s latest quip on Downton Abbey, death-grip your armchair during Homeland, or marvel at the jaw-dropping perfection of Breaking Bad. TV shows are available the day after they air and you can subscribe to seasons at a discount. We plan on adding new titles and bonus content daily, so be sure to check back regularly to see what’s new,” it advises.

For the moment, Vdio is only available to Rdio Unlimited subscribers in the US and UK. As an initial offer, it is giving all Rdio Unlimited subscribers a $25 credit to use on Vdio (the same applies for anyone who subscribes in the next 60 days). Vdio currently works on the Web and iPad, with other devices and platforms planned.

“So, find a comfy chair, grab your iPad or PC, and catch up on the TV episodes you missed last season or watch Daniel Day-Lewis channel Abraham Lincoln, brilliantly — all on us, of course,” it says.

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