It’s been over a year since we last heard about Vdio, an upcoming online video service founded by Janus Friis, the same guy who co-created KaZaA, Skype, Rdio and Joost. But according to a report by GigaOm, things are moving along with a private beta already underway and plans to launch in the US and UK soon.
Contrary to what was initially thought, however, it doesn’t seem like Vdio will replicate the freemium all-you-can eat model behind music streaming service Rdio, or even the subscription only model of Netflix. Instead, the company looks to be another iTunes competitor, offering the option to buy or rent movies and TV shows.
Vdio’s website currently shows a sneak peek of what the service will look like and from the movie and TV show titles listed there it seems quite a few major content providers are on board, including Disney, Fox, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, AMC, BBC America, Lionsgate, Paramount, CBS and DreamWorks Pictures.
As you’d expect, there are some social features integrated into the service that will allow users to share what they are watching with others. Pricing details remain unknown, but Vdio is going to have to do more than a pretty interface and some social functionality to differentiate itself from a-la-carte giants like iTunes.
GigaOm notes Rdio and Vdio are closely connected and even share the same business address -- which suggest they could become one soon enough. Vdio will also let users sign-in with their Rdio credentials and let them use any payment details tied to their accounts to pay for content on Vdio. Too bad they opted for a transactional model but perhaps we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of subscription plans in the future.