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.
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.
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.