Music service Rdio launches Vdio for TV, movies (Update)

Apr 03, 2013 by Ryan Nakashima
This screen shot, made available on the blog for Rdio, the music streaming service started by a co-founder of Skype, shows the company's new digital store for video, called Vdio. The content will work on personal computers and Apple's iPad for now. It's opening at first to users in the U.S. and Britain. The latest TV episodes from shows such as "The Walking Dead" will sell for about $3 each and will be in high definition, while movies such as "Zero Dark Thirty" will cost from $3 to rent to $20 to buy. (AP Photo/Vdio)

Rdio, the music streaming service started by a co-founder of Skype, is getting into video.

New and current subscribers of a $10-a-month unlimited music plan from Rdio (AR-dee-oh) will get $25 to spend in the new digital store for video, called Vdio (VEE-dee-oh).

The content will work on personal computers and Apple's iPad for now. It's opening at first to users in the U.S. and Britain. The latest TV episodes from shows such as "The Walking Dead" will sell for about $3 each and will be in high definition, while movies such as "Zero Dark Thirty" will cost from $3 to rent to $20 to buy.

Rdio Chief Executive Drew Larner said the plan is for users to get ideas about what to watch based on the music they and their friends love, and the other way around.

For instance, fans of Adele's hit single "Skyfall" might want to watch the James Bond movie of the same name, or viewers of the 1978 documentary "The Last Waltz" might want to listen to music by The Band, the subject of that movie.

"There's just so much interplay between film, TV and music. We just think this is going to be a natural combination," he said.

The company opted against a subscription video offering because the newest TV shows and movies would not be available that way, Larner said. Studios typically offer online subscription services such as Netflix Inc. only past seasons of TV shows, along with movies that have debuted in theaters months or years earlier. Larner said the company hopes to one day offer a plan that would give customers a selection of movies, TV shows and music for one price.

He didn't specify how many subscribers San Francisco-based Rdio has amassed since it launched in 2010 with the backing of Skype co-founder Janus Friis. But he said the rate at which new users come to the service, offered in 23 countries, has tripled since the company began spending money on advertising late last year.

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