Music streaming service Rdio has launched a new Vdio site for streaming TV shows and movies on demand. Unlike Rdio, Vdio adopt a pay-per-item approach rather than a monthly subscription model, with content available to buy or rent. The service is currently only available to existing Rdio Unlimited subscribers, or those who sign up in the next 60 days, who each receive £20 worth of credit to spend on Vdio. A more widespread roll-out is expected in the near future, though an exact date has yet to be specified.
It’s been a busy couple of years for on-demand video in the UK. Netflix jumped over the Atlantic at the start of 2012, while the Tesco-owned BlinkBox has been busy expanding its catalogue of content for those who prefer to pay as they go. Long-standing DVD rental firm Lovefilm, now run by Amazon, also offers a comprehensive collection of television shows and films to stream to your computer or mobile device, and on top of all this are the services offered by the traditional channels (Sky, the BBC, ITV) and the big players (Apple’s iTunes and Google Play).
As with Rdio, there are aspects to Vdio to help you manage your favourite films and programmes, and discover new material easily. “It’s not just that we’ve got amazing content,” wrote the Rdio team in a blog post, “but that the experience is now geared to get you from searching to watching faster. We’re introducing the notion of Sets — playlists for TV shows and movies — so anyone can make and share lists of their favourites, making it easier than ever to discover new stuff. Or, you can just check out what your friends are watching in the moment and jump in.”
Vdio is Web and iPad-only for the time being, though there is the promise of support for more platforms down the line. Log into the site at www.vdio.com and you’ll find some big headliners, including Argo, Skyfall, Breaking Bad, Doctor Who and The West Wing, though the catalogue currently lacks depth — only seasons 1 and 4 of Mad Men are available, for example. As with Rdio, the Web app is slick, well-designed and intuitive, and if Vdio can get the right content in place it could be a serious challenger in an increasingly crowded field.