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Rdio Shuts Down ‘Vdio’ Internet Video Store

Move by music-streaming service comes after appointment of ex-Amazon exec Anthony Bay as CEO

Music-streaming provider Rdio has pulled the plug on Vdio, its attempt to enter the digital-video market, shortly after hiring former Amazon head of global video Anthony Bay as CEO.

“We have concluded that we are not able to deliver a differentiated customer value proposition or a business model which is attractive to shareholders,” the company said in a notice posted Friday on Vdio.com.

Rdio publicly launched the Vdio site in April, with a selection of thousands of titles for rental or purchase. The company said in the notice that customers who purchased videos or have unused rental credits will be offered Amazon.com gift cards with equivalent value.

On Dec. 3, Rdio named Bay as CEO, replacing Drew Larner, who became vice chairman. Bay had previously been VP and global head of Amazon’s video business and also has worked for Apple, Microsoft and digital-media services firm Loudeye. With the shutdown of the video site, Rdio is refocusing entirely on the music service, launched in 2010. It offers 20 million songs, and its competitors include Spotify, Apple’s iTunes Radio and Google.

Vdio (pronounced “VEE-dee-oh”) had offered films and TV shows from studios and programmers including Disney, MGM, Paramount Pictures and Viacom, Sony, 20th Century Fox, DreamWorks, Warner Bros., CBS, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal and Starz. Pics available on service included “Skyfall,” “Life of Pi,” “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” while TV shows included “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Walking Dead,” “Breaking Bad,” “Downton Abbey” and “Homeland.”

San Francisco-based Rdio was founded by Janus Friis, one of the creators of Skype (now owned by Microsoft), along with fellow Scandinavian Niklas Zennstrom. The duo also were behind Joost, an Internet TV venture that folded in 2009, and Kazaa, a peer-to-peer file-sharing startup that ended up paying the music industry $100 million to settle copyright-infringement claims.

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