Vdio is a new online video service from the guys at Rdio.

However, this is not “Rdio for movies”. Vdio is more like iTunes in that you buy or rent each movie or TV show. I’m curious why Vdio went with the iTunes-type of access model as opposed to the Netflix-esque access model that Rdio uses.

It’s probably that they couldn’t.

At the top of Vdio’s movie list are all the latest Academy Award nominated films, new releases, and many others. Pretty much all the same films sitting on the iTunes home page right now. None of those films are available on Netflix.

I would say that some sort of amalgamation of the two access models would be great: Paying Vdio a monthly fee to get unlimited access to whatever movies and TV shows that they are able to negotiate with studios, and then the ones which are not available that way you can pay extra to buy or rent.

But then I realize I already have that exact service via Netflix, iTunes, and my Apple TV.

As far as I can see, the only leg up Rdio has over Netflix and iTunes is their social network. As they wrote on their announcement post, some of the advantages to Vdio are the social-esque features such as seeing what your friends are watching, and creating “sets” (a.k.a. playlists for TV shows and movies) that you can then share with people.

Vdio has an iPad app, but it can do nothing but play movies you’ve purchased or rented through the Vdio website. You cannot browse Vdio on the iPad app. The app does support AirPlay, so you can play the video on your television via your Apple TV.

But if you’ve got an Apple TV, what’s the advantage of using Vdio over iTunes? The prices are the same, the selection is smaller, and the experience is limited.

If you’re an Rdio unlimited subscriber in the US or UK then you can log in to Vdio now, and they’ve given us each a $25 credit to use for buying or renting.

When Rdio first launched I wasn’t keen on it, but I have since become a huge fan of the music service. So perhaps it’s fitting that I am not currently excited about Vdio. As the service and app stand now, I suspect the $25 they gave me will be the only money I spend there. But you know what? At least they’re building something.

April 3, 2013