Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

Summary: Competitors are taking advantage of Netflix's stumbles. Enter Vdio.

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Before the summer, Netflix looked unstoppable. Revenue was great, and it had nearly 25 million subscribers in two countries before a huge expansion to Latin America.

The first stumble happened with Netflix raised its subscription rates. As much as this might have infuriated some customers, it really wasn't a terrible move considering how cheap the service still is. If Netflix had held steady here, it would have likely lost some subscribers at first but bounced back by the end of the year.

Unfortunately, Netflix couldn't hold steady and then lost it by plotting the most ridiculous move yet in ruining the seamless customer service experience in splitting up its DVD and streaming rental services with the creation of Qwikster. Thankfully, Qwikster quickly disappeared.

All of that together has shaken analysts, investors, and customers about the stability of the company. Thus, the door is now wide open for other digital, on-demand content services to take over. And it's not just about Hulu Plus.

There are definitely new options on the horizon, starting with Vdio from the founders of Skype. GigaOm reports that European entreprenuers Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis have been "quietly assembling an A-team of media and web technology experts to launch a site that seems destined to replicate the model behind their music subscription site Rdio in the video space."

Upon logging in via Facebook Connect, not much else is known at the moment except that the service is supposedly only available in the United Kingdom, but that's certainly enough to create some buzz and mystery about Vdio. After all, look at what happened with Spotify. That service started off only in Europe, and by the came it finally arrived in the United States, the digital music locker has roughly 250,000 U.S. paid subscribers in the first few months of availability and a reported valuation of $1.1 billion.

However, it would be wise for Vdio's makers to hurry up and make nice with Hollywood studios while Netflix is on the defense. This opportunity might not last long, especially if Netflix can get it together finally.

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22 comments
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  • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

    US TV consists of reality TV and cop dramas. If a British service opens up with exclusive streaming of BBC stuff and British movies I'll be fine watching Dr.Who, Misfits, and Being Human over Housewives of Atlanta, Survivor, and America's Got Talent.
    Socratesfoot
    • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

      @Socratesfoot That's nowhere near true at all. I agree, I like BBC stuff as well, but there's way more on American TV than you are giving credit.
      waterhzrd
  • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

    Correct me if I'm wrong; I have to get a membership in Facebook to access Vido? I'll pass on that extortion and stay with Netflix.
    txadams66@...
    • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

      @txadams66@...

      Same reason inrefuse to sign up for Spotify
      mike2k
    • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

      @txadams66@... RDIO has a stand alone registration. I suspect that VDIO will as well.
      Liam SWz
  • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

    But with many services that use Facebook Connect, there is a standalone registration available, too. I guess we'll wait and see.
    MP_doc
  • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

    I've been using Vudu as an alternative to Netflix. Not as big a selection but the quality and the same day as dvd are awesome.
    jim@...
    • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

      @jim@... <br><br>Same here.. Really Like the dang near Blu-Ray quality streaming on the HDX (1080P) on Vudu and even works on iOS devices (no app needed, works seamlessly with built in Safari browser). The downside to Vudu vs Netflix is the payment models. Vudo is pay per view AND pay is based on quality you want to stream. Dont like having to pay extra just for a 1080p version though. When I buy a blu-ray with DVD, Blu-Ray and DigitalCopy, I pay one price for all of it and I own it too. Pricing is too high on Vudo still imo for HDX, should be one price for all or .99 SD, 2.99 HD & 4.99 HDX if they want to tier quality to a pricing model. Netflix shot themselves in the foot with the DVD/streaming being to separate costs. The only way to make this remotely acceptable would be to price a combo with a discount and full price if membership to only one of the two options.
      seascape195@...
  • Create a FaceBook account?!?!? Never!

    Are they kidding?!?! The only way in is to have a FaceBook account? They just shot themselves in the foot before they got started.
    BilboRT
    • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

      @BilboRT Facebook has so many security issues that I'm staying away from it.
      rocketman67
  • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

    Amazon Prime is ready to take the market by storm; it's better than Hulu +, Netflix Streaming, and whatever else.
    distantrhythm
    • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

      @distantrhythm Hahaha!!! Amazon Prime?!?!! Hahaha! I am a member of Amazon Prime, which is little more than a mailing rebate. They have very, very few titles and they don't mail DVDs. Netflix has AT LEAST 10 times the selection that Amazon Prime does. Every time someone says, "Amazon Prime" in comparison to Netflix, I start laughing out loud. If you think Amazon Prime is a real competitor to Netflix, you know nothing about on-demand entertainment.

      I have 20 bucks that says you are a soccer mom or a single woman. Everyone I know that sings the praises of Amazon Prime is either a soccer mom, who thinks a new movie is Fargo, or a single women who thinks Mamma Mia is a new movie. Anyone who watches more than 20 movies a year, knows that Amazon Prime is a joke compared to Netflix. It's that simple.
      • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

        @dallasdeckard@... Hey thanks for letting me know about your experience with Amazon Prime. I'll stick with Netflix for now until something better comes up.
        rocketman67
    • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

      @distantrhythm
      rocketman67
  • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

    Considering the privacy issues surrounding FB, there's no chance I'd use any service that required a FB account....unless I created a totally fictitious persona....although not sure how that would work as I expect a credit card is needed for the service.
    dabbsil
  • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

    One thing not mentioned is Vdio is available in UK only.

    ~John
    c320162
  • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

    It gets really tiring when I read headlines that say, "the next Netfix is here!" or "the competition is heating up" and then read about the (supposed) next big thing. Here is some info from an Intro to Business class, competition requires that one compete. A company cannot compete if their products or services don't EXIST YET! That's like saying Toyota has stiff competition from a carmaker that makes NO cars. "Competition against Rachel King's column is heating up, from a writer that writes no columns." Yikes.<br><br>A new service, that hasn't even LAUNCHED is "competition" that "heats up"? Really? Wait, don't tell me, Whirlpool has a new refrigerator that can fill my icebox with milk when it gets low, available today, Right? Don't tell me, my Tivo or Apple TV is going to go the way of the Dodo, because Digeo is releasing the Moxi! What you say, my HDMI cables are obsolete because Belkin is going to release Flywire?! If I had a dime for every time some columnist, or blogger, or talking head said "this is the next XXXX killer" I'd be a millionaire. There are writers here on Zdnet that have made a career on writing what the new iPod, or iPad or iTunes "heating up competition" is now. At least they had a real product to compare it to, now Rachel King is calling hot competition a service that hasn't even LAUNCHED!<br><br>"NO, WAIT... NEWS FLASH... there is a new on-demand digital entertainment company that is destroying Netflix... it's called MeFlix. Yeah... I just created it. No, seriously. I promise. I'm going to start it next week, and you have to sign up through MySpace and seriously, I'm going to talk to the major studios and get some really awesome titles online reaaaaal soon. Yep. I'm the Netflix killer."<br><br>Sheesh. Do us a favor, leave the sensationalist nonsense to the Enquirer. We come to ZDNet for REAL TECH NEWS, not HYPE! If I wanted psychic predictions, I'd dial a 900 number.
    • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

      @dallasdeckard@... OMG, your comments is spot on & so freaking funny!!!! I had to login just to say how much I enjoyed reading your points! HAHA ;-)
      gcuguy3
  • RE: Competition for Netflix heats up, starting with Vdio

    If my blueray dvd player had an app for Amazon I would switch in a heart beat. But I'm not about to watch a movie on my 19" pc screen when I have a 50" plasma.
    rocketman67
  • Watch out for VDIO

    I heard about VDIO before this article but all in the US need to know it's not for us - they take your sign info based on FaceBook then tell you it's not available for USA at this time.
    What are they doing with our info?
    dhwagner