One launch at Slush I was particularly interested in is Futureful. For some time I've been hearing rumors the company was something really innovative in artificial intelligence and web browsing. Marko Anderson, the co-founder of Futureful presented the product on stage and announced their Seed round led by Janus Friis, the founder of Kazaa and Skype.
Essentially, Futureful has invented an intelligent browser for the iPad. The service finds out the topics you're interested in by plugging into your Twitter account, for example, and then scrolling topics slowly across the top of the browser. Once one or many topics are selected, you just drag down to find a new article on the topics you've selected.
Spotify may have a leg up in the Nordics, but they must realize that users will happily leave if a competitor comes along with a service that brings their favorite movies, TV shows, and music under one roof. It appears Rdio and Vdio might be joining forces, but Spotify is also churning up rumors that it is partnering with HBO Nordics.
Even though Rdio was founded by the Swedish and Danish Skype co-founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis in 2010, by focusing on the U.S. market they still haven't made the same cultural dent in the Nordics like Spotify has. Still, they offer solid competition through a browser-based music streaming service (much like what Spotify is rumored to be working on).
Gigaom has confirmed that Janus Friis, the Danish cofounder of Skype, is now developing a mysterious service called Vdio that will likely compete with Netflix internationally. Little is know about the company, but the logo simply asks, "Are you watching?"
Rdio, the online music straming company founded by the former Skype founders, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, has announced that they will be releasing a set of APIs to developers, according to ReadWriteWeb. This comes as an attempt to try and go around Apple's counter announcement of them charging 30% of new subscribers that will come through their iPhone apps, a move which has been widely criticized for "killing the online music business". Margins are very low and online streaming services such as Rdio (and Spotify for that matter) are scrambling to find new ways to keep the business model afloat.
Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström recently created Rdio (pronounced ar-dee-oh) - an unlimited, on-demand social music service in US and Canada. The service is very similar to Spotify, though there is no way to use it for free (apart from a short trial period). Rdio offers a vast music library (> 7 million songs) from all major labels (EMI Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group) as well as top indie labels and distributors. It's got social features akin to Twitter: users can see what is currently popular among other users and create and listen to collaborative playlists. The company promises to 'take the work out of deciding what to play next'. All that for $9.99 a month for unlimited web and mobile access (including the offline mode) and $4.99 a month for Web-only access. Rings a bell?