Popular music streaming service Rdio has quietly launched a complementary video streaming service for TV shows and movies, challenging established players iTunes, Netflix and Hulu. A sneak preview of the Vdio service is currently only available to existing Rdio US and UK customers, but is expected to roll out more widely in the coming months.
Australian availability is not a sure thing, but given Rdio’s Australian presence, it is looking more likely that Vdio will beat the US heavyweights to local shores.
Any customer that is currently subscribed to the all-you-can-hear Rdio Unlimited service in the US or UK — at a cost of US$10 or UK£5 per month — is able to access Vdio now, with a free $25 credit to trial the service.
The service is a direct rival to Apple’s iTunes Store for TV and movies, as well as established video streaming competitors Netflix and Hulu. Vdio is a pay-as-you-go service, unlike the monthly-subscription Rdio, with varying prices for movies and TV shows depending on the title’s age and distributor. Some titles, like the first episode of the Psycho-inspired Bates Motel, are available for free, and many TV shows include free previews.
The Vdio interface is visually similar to Rdio’s, with a sidebar of sub-menus dominated by a picture-heavy grid. The main menu shows a curated Spotlight section of popular or new releases, must-see movies and heavily-watched TV series.
Vdio revolves around ‘Sets’, user-generated playlists that can include both TV episodes, series and movies. A Rdio blog post introducing Vdio explains the concept:
“We’re introducing the notion of Sets — playlists for TV shows and movies — so anyone can make and share lists of their favorites, 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.”
For a tour of the new Vdio service, scroll down: