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Skype Cofounder Is Taking Aim At Netflix

| Filed under: Tech Talk

Vdio V Netflix

If there is a moment to make your move and to take Netflix's spot on the top of streaming internet dominance, it's now — as they continually treat their customers terribly, and shareholder confidence is super low.

Enter the cofounder of Skype, Janus Friis, and his new video service called Vdio that they're testing in the UK right now!

Skype’s cofounder has apparently been quietly assembling an A-team of media and web technology experts to launch a site that seems destined to replicate the model behind their music subscription site Rdio in the video space. The new service called Vdio, which hasn’t publicly launch yet, has been kept secret for almost two years.

That's awesome, but also like it says: secretive. So what's going on with it?

Here's a list of what things that are known:

Vdio is currently being tested with a small group of users. Vdio’s Facebook app, which is necessary to sign into the service, currently lists “200 monthly active users.”

This is all about subscriptions. Fris and Zennstrom wouldn’t align Vdio closely with Rdio if the offerings weren’t somewhat similar, and they wouldn’t secretly work on a project like this if it was just another VOD rental property. It’s possible that Vdio will offer some free content, just like Rdio does now, but the end game seems to be to compete with Netflix, and not iTunes.

Vdio is an international play. The site may launch in the U.K. first, but the company is headquartered in the U.S., with a subsidiary in Luxemburg, and it already has a SVP of global licensing. I think it’s only a question of time before Vdio launches in the U.S. as well.

This will get serious. One of the biggest lessons of Joost’s demise was that you won’t compete with the big boys if you don’t have the right content. Judging from the content that’s currently teased at Vdio.com, this could be different this time around. The movies and TV shows displayed on the site come from Warner Bros., AMC, Showtime, Sony and Fox. That’s an impressive list. Sure, Netflix has tied up the U.S. rights to shows like Mad Men, but that doesn’t mean that Vdio won’t be able to scoop them up elsewhere.

The timing couldn’t be better. Netflix has been in a crisis ever since its botched attempt to separate its DVD and streaming business, and Hulu’s future seems more uncertain than ever after a proposed sale of the company didn’t go through. Many wouldn’t have given a newcomer like Vdio a chance just six months ago. But now, everything seems up for grabs.

Boom. Competition. We love it!

Skype is a huge success — and let's be honest, if the people behind that are behind this, we're going to see a quality attempt.

Netflix had better step up their game, because at this point they're not invincible anymore.

Are U willing to try something different?

[Image via VDIO.]

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One comment to “Skype Cofounder Is Taking Aim At Netflix”

  1. 1

    I love Skype, can't wait to try the video service.