Netflix to face more competition from stealthy startup Vdio

More competition is on the horizon for Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), as the co-founder of Skype, Joost and Kazaa--Janus Friis--reportedly is readying a streaming video service for launch in the United Kingdom.

Dubbed Vdio, the site-which reportedly already is in closed beta--has created a stir by keeping quiet, but teasing with a splash page that asks, "Are you watching?" It features a rotating display of movies from Warner Bros., AMC, Showtime, Sony and Fox.

GigaOm reports the site is privately funded.

Vdio's splash page allows Facebook sign ups, which then seeks permission to access users' basic information and permission to send emails directly to users, and then moves to another page that says the service is currently available in the U.K. only. U.K. users are being told the service is coming soon.

Joost, the online video portal backed by Skype's co-founders, consumed some $45 million in venture capital, before announcing in June 2009 that it would scale back its operations to focus on back-end support for other platforms.

Vdio will face steep competition in the U.K. in the form of incumbent streaming service LoveFilms. Netflix also is eyeing a launch in the U.K. soon.

For more:
- see the GigaOm report

Related articles:
Joost CEO steps down, company to scale back operations
Comcast turns down Joost, company still shopping itself