Skype Founder To Create Future Failed Netflix Competitor

Senior Contributor

So, Blockbuster is a failure already, since it’s welded to a satellite provider and offers a third of what Netflix offers. Amazon Prime has the problem of not having nearly as many apps, or interest in providing them (still waiting for my PS3 app, Amazon), or interest in making them not suck, as Netflix does. Hulu has the problem of being owned by companies that kind of want it to not exist. Vudu is basically competing with Redbox. Who else wants to enter the streaming bloodbath?

Oh, hi, Skype founder Janus Friis! This is what you’re doing with your buyout money, huh?

The new service, called by the truly annoying name Vdio (seriously, does every tech startup have to take a word and drop the first vowel, lately?), is in closed beta right now. They are making an intelligent choice by putting in the UK, where Netflix has yet to establish a foothold. But they’re making a very bad choice by trash talking already: when asked the difference between Vdio and Netflix, their PR guy said “people will love using Vdio,” basically insinuating that people hate using Netflix.

Here’s where I see Vdio having a problem: the company is staffed by people from file-sharing networks. Friis himself helped start KaZaa. Studios inherently distrust guys like Friis, which he should know because he’s already tried to do this once, with Joost, and that ate hardcore pavement because other sites could pay better.

So, don’t get comfy, Mr. Friis. This could be a bumpy ride.

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