Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, News, Video Start-Ups, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on December 27, 2013

Vdio is no more, with parent company Rdio deciding to shutter the online video service. The reasons for the closure remain unclear, but it seems that there just wasn’t room for Vdio in an already-crowded market. It didn’t help that Vdio took so long to move from being just an idea to being a legitimate company.

The Short History Of Vdio

Vdio was founded as long ago as 2009, with Skype founder Janus Friis investing both time and money into the venture. Friis had previously experienced failure within the online video spectrum with Joost, but Vdio was going to be different.

Vdio was first imagined as a Netflix competitor, with a streaming subscription service being the planned positioning of the company. For unexplained reasons, Vdio was turned from a Netflix clone into an online video store.

Vdio enjoyed a soft launch in April 2013 for existing Rdio subscribers, with a full launch happening in June 2013. Throughout this time Vdio was still considered a beta, which isn’t surprising given its limited life cycle of just six months.

The End Of Vdio

The end of Vdio was announced in an email to existing users which read, ”We have decided to discontinue the Vdio beta service. Despite our efforts, we were not able to deliver the differentiated customer experience we had hoped for, and so Vdio is now closed.” A similar message is now plastered on the Vdio homepage.

Anyone who purchased or rented content is being offered compensation in the form of Amazon vouchers.

Conclusions

When the idea for Vdio was first mooted Netflix wasn’t the unstoppable force it now appears to be. Vdio then launched as something different altogether, but very similar to iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and others. Which left zero chance of Vdio establishing itself.

Vdio seems like a lost opportunity, with its chances of succeeding crippled by a protracted launch, a lack of focus, no differentiation from it and multiple competitors, little promotional effort, and the rate at which the market around it evolved.

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