Online video steaming services are going through something akin to growing pains right now: Hulu’s sale was thwarted by lower prices than the company could accept, Netflix has been fumbling ever since it mumbled the phrase “Qwikster,” and YouTube has poured over $100+ million into becoming a viable content provider.
And of course, as consumers continue to cut cords and connected TVs pick up steam, there remains the fact that a platform has yet to definitively conquer this space. Enter, Vdio. The new content streaming service comes from the guys that brought you Skype, KaZaA, and fittingly, Rdio.
While details are scarce thus far (other than that the site is real and coming soon), the setup will supposedly work like Rdio’s music subscription service. It will offer a handful of movies or TV shows for free and the rest, you pay for.
At the moment, Vdio is little more than brief looks at animated GIFs of (we’re assuming) available content and a notice saying the service is only available in the UK (where a notice tells you Vdio is coming soon). The team told GigaOm that while it’s currently in closed beta, it will first hit overseas and is a service that will let you “instantly watch the best in TV and movies, right now.”
Despite how cagey the Vdio team is being, the personnel investment alone speaks volumes. In addition to the guys from Skype, the people behind the project include those who have worked for Napster, Microsoft, TV Guide, and Apache. And being so tentative with details and focused on beta testing says that perhaps Vdio is determined to sign the necessary studios before it drives into the TV streaming game head first. More than a few platforms have learned this the hard way, building a reputation and publicity without first acquiring the names to back it up.
You can’t help but note the timing either. Netflix’s struggles have open the door for competitors to try and wrestle the lead from the veteran video provider. While we can’t help but think Amazon has something of an early lead as far as a come-from-behind story goes, there’s certainly enough brains behind Vdio to cause a stir.