Thursday, April 4, 2013

Add Another Competitor To Streaming Digital Content

Yesterday, Warner Bros. announced its new streaming subscription service.  And now we have another entrant in the download and digital rental space.  "Vdio, the premium video service founded by Skype co-founder Janus Friis, emerged from private beta Tuesday night with an offering that looks more like Vudu or iTunes than Netflix. The service offers users streaming access to major Hollywood movies and TV shows from all of the major studios, with titles either being available for rent or purchase."  As this field enters the space, consumers will find themselves dizzy trying to figure out where to turn first for their download or streaming content. 

As there is very little different the content other than the titles served, cost of service may become the biggest decider to purchase behavior.  For those already loyal to a provider already established in the space, whether iTunes, Amazon, Redbox, Vudu, or Netflix, disenfranchising the consumer may be the biggest fear leading to switching providers.  Netflix learned that the hard way when they tried to split their DVD rental service from their digital streaming service.  A move that cost them customers and goodwill.

Can Vdio enter and thrive in a crowded marketplace?  Given that digital streaming is still in its infancy, the answer is obviously yes.  Still, given that digital content is ubiquitous, factors like exclusivity, user friendliness features, connectivity, and perceived value will be important to how consumers choose and build loyalty to a particular service. 

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