Rdio is one of the major players in subscription-based streaming music, and for years now it's been working on a companion video service, known as Vdio. Now, after some time in private beta, the site has officially launched. Vdio lets users sign in with their Rdio accounts, and current Rdio Unlimited subscribers will get a $25 credit towards Vdio. But the sites are fundamentally different: while Rdio is based on tiered subscriptions and works on a variety of devices, Vdio simply sells streaming movies and TV shows on the web, with some social features that will let users see what their friends are watching.
While there is an iPad app, GigaOM reports that it doesn't allow users to actually purchase content, just to watch material from their existing library, possibly to avoid Apple's fee for in-app purchases. While the company says it's interested in exploring subscriptions in the future, a per-piece content store was considered a better idea at launch, since competing with Netflix or Amazon's growing subscription catalogs would be nearly impossible at this point.
The selection right now is fairly wide, including big-name new film releases and TV like the recent Walking Dead season finale. TV shows sell for around $3 and movies for around $15, with the option to rent a film for about $5. Unlike Netflix or plenty of other online stores, though, there's no indication of whether a given title is available in high definition, though the company says it will "always deliver Vdio in the highest quality possible." The service is currently available in the UK and US, with no indication of whether it's coming to more countries or more devices.