Spotify imagines a world with a billion users, healthily-paid musicians, and a scaled-out business model that makes sense. But right now, that isn’t the reality, and it may never be the reality with music alone. Which is also why Spotify is plotting an expansion into video, and a move into Netflix territory.
Except now there’s a twist, because struggling Spotify competitor Rdio has just beaten Spotify to the punch.
It’s called Vdio, and it’s getting rolled out right now. In a morning email, an Rdio executive called it “a beautiful new way to buy, rent, and share your favorite movies and TV shows with your friends, in real-time,” which actually sounds better than Netflix (though we haven’t tested it). The service is currently getting previewed to Rdio Unlimited subscribers, with an iPad app and broader service pushing later today.
The question is whether Netflix (and Hulu, for that matter) aren’t already too far ahead. Netflix has gigantic content gaps, but so will entrants like Vdio and eventually, Spotify. It’s the same expensive headache in a different industry, except that in video, mega-companies like Comcast are also building their own ‘TV Everywhere’ solutions. That’s unlike the major labels, which gave up their homegrown ambitions a decade ago.
Which means the battle shifts to areas like curation, recommendations, and sharing, all dicey bets in music and a wildcard in movies and television, as well. That said, Vdio is coming to the table with some neat-o features, including a playlisting idea called ‘Sets,’ not to mention a feature that allows friends to jump into what friends are watching in real time.
The service will be limited initially to the US and UK, with web and iPad access only.
Written while watching House of Cards…