updated 05:28 pm EDT, Wed April 3, 2013
Content available for rental and purchase, no subscription service available
Music streaming purveyor Rdio is previewing its long-awaited next effort -- the video streamer Vdio. Calling it a "beautiful new way to buy, rent, and share your favorite movies and TV shows with your friends," the service is available today in pre-release form with a $25 viewing credit given to existing and new Rdio Unlimited subscribers.
Rdio and Vdio operate differently -- where Rdio is a monthly subscription service, Vdio is a streaming video sales venue with attached social features to see what friends have also purchased on the service. The company claims to have evaluated subscriptions, but believes that the model they settled on would allow them to compete better with similar services from Netflix or Amazon. Subscriptions remain a possibility for the future, according to the company.
Hollywood offerings are available from Disney, Fox, Universal Studios, and Warner Brothers. All of the major television networks have content on the service, plus content from the BBC, Comedy Central, and Showtime. No HBO content is present on the service, with the company's Vice President of Product Malthe Sigurdsson reporting that it was hoping to have HBO content available soon.
Television shows generally sell for $3 per episode, with movie ownership priced at $14, along with a rental option for $5. The company doesn't differentiate between HD and SD content in the store, and says that it will "always deliver Vdio in the highest quality possible."
Videos are viewable in an HTML5-complaint browser, as well as an iPad app. Content may not be purchased on the iPad, but only selected for viewing from the existing library, likely to avoid Apple's in-app purchase royalty requirement.