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How to mix social discovery with the newest movies: Meet Vdeo

Social media man­agers and com­mu­ni­ty man­agers who like to keep abreast of new devel­op­ments might expe­ri­ence a fris­son or two of excite­ment over Rdio’s lat­est offer­ing: Vdeo, the new video-stream­ing ser­vice that blends view­ing with social discovery.

It’s been a long time in the mak­ing, accord­ing to Rdio and Vdeo CEO Drew Larn­er, but after launch­ing in beta last Novem­ber, the Vdeo site has at last made its offi­cial live, pub­lic debut. Rdio’s founder Janus Fri­is (who also co-found­ed Joost, Kazaa and Skype) had the new ven­ture in his sights from the out­set. But it’s tak­en a long time to gar­ner enough con­tent deals to make an offi­cial launch.

Going live

That day has now come, with major play­ers like Warn­er Broth­ers, Para­mount, Fox, MGM, Sony, Dis­ney and ABC all on board.  The empha­sis is firm­ly on new releas­es but the unique fea­ture, social media man­agers please note, is the social dis­cov­ery angle. Sim­i­lar to Rdio, users can fol­low oth­er view­ers on the net­work to glean movie sug­ges­tions and they can show oth­ers the movies they’ve watched on the site itself and on Face­book.

The site doesn’t use a sub­scrip­tion mod­el yet, offer­ing pay-per-view TV shows and films instead. The new release’s empha­sis clear­ly dif­fer­en­ti­ates Vdeo from poten­tial rivals like Net­flix, but it’s also the rea­son why, as yet, a sub­scrip­tion ser­vice isn’t avail­able.  Con­tent own­ers respon­si­ble for the fresh­est, newest con­tent have been reluc­tant to sign up to sub­scrip­tion deals, Larn­er explains, and would only con­sid­er back-cat­a­logue titles.  But he believes that sub­scrip­tions are an “obvi­ous pro­gres­sion” and will def­i­nite­ly come eventually.

Stand­ing out

It won’t have escaped the can­ny social media manager’s notice that the new site puts Rdio a sub­stan­tial step ahead of rivals like Spo­ti­fy, although rumors abound that the lat­ter is con­sid­er­ing a move toward video services.

Larn­er makes a shrewd point: “There is prof­itabil­i­ty to be reached by com­bin­ing both video and music togeth­er.” The new ser­vice is avail­able in the U.S. and the U.K. and Larn­er says that Cana­da is prob­a­bly going to be the next mar­ket; but the aim is to extend into all 24 of the mar­kets where Rdio is live.

Vdeo cur­rent­ly runs on iPads and desk­tops but plans are under­way to make it com­pat­i­ble with oth­er devices.

This lit­tle idea has got legs.

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