January 2, 2014
Six months after Rdio launched its streaming video platform Vdio, the startup has announced it will discontinue the service. Prior to its launch, most reports suggested Vdio would compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon. However, the platform was more similar to on-demand video rental services such as Google Play or iTunes. Explaining it was not able to “deliver a differentiated customer experience,” Vdio is shuttering and offering users reimbursement for purchases.
According to an email sent out to customers: “Despite our efforts, we were not able to deliver the differentiated customer experience we had hoped for, and so Vdio is now closed. For more information, please read the Vdio FAQ. As reimbursement for any content you purchased and any rental content that has yet to expire, we’d like to give you an Amazon gift card.”
The FAQ page points out that the company was not able to create “a business model which was attractive to shareholders.” TechCrunch adds the service shutdown follows November’s news of layoffs affecting 35 employees.
“Vdio let audiences rent and buy movies and TV shows, as well as create video playlists to share with friends. After a soft-launch in April, the online video service opened its doors to everyone in the U.S. and U.K. in June,” reports CNET. “Rdio Vice President of Product Malthe Sigurdsson previously said that Vdio was part of the company’s larger strategy to be a ‘full-fledged entertainment service,’ though that strategy now appears to have been overly ambitious.”
Rdio was created by Skype and Kazaa co-founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom.