Gigaom has confirmed that Janus Friis, the Danish cofounder of Skype, is now developing a mysterious service called Vdio that will likely compete with Netflix internationally. Little is know about the company, but the logo simply asks, “Are you watching?”
But it is likely Vdio will be the video counterpart to Rdio, Friis’ music subscription service that is somewhat similar to Spotify. Right now when you visit Vdio.com, it asks to you log in with Facebook and displays a large still from a TV show or movie as the background image. After attempting to log in, it later tells you “We’re sorry but Vdio is currently available in the UK only.” For UK residents, it tells you the service is coming soon.
It will be interesting to see how a competitor to Netflix will develop across the Atlantic. Friis has some experience in the internet TV sector; he is probably best known for his co-founding of KaZaA and Skype, but has also co-founded joost, an internet tv service using peer to peer technology. Joost failed partially due to a lack of licensing agreements, but the movies and TV shows displayed as Vdio’s background images come from Warner Bros., AMC, Showtime, Sony and Fox.
Netflix recently has had its ups and downs in the States, but it’s undeniable that the company has built empire on internet TV as people have unplugged their cable. A strong competitor has needed to enter the ring, and I’m glad some sort of alternative is developing in Europe. We’ll keep you posted on any developments!