Nokia-Backed VOD Company Launches Legal Film File-Sharing Service

LiveShelf, the new service from Sweden's Voddler, will let users share movies with friends worldwide.

The Swedish-based VOD firm Voddler has launched what it is calling the world's first-ever legal film storage and sharing service. 

The service, called LiveShelf, rolled out Thursday across Scandinavia and Spain with Europe and Russia to follow set to follow this week. It combines digital locker technology to store films online with file-sharing, which the company says allows users to invite friends to stream their legally acquired films over the Internet – either on PCs or on mobile-connected devices.

The file-sharing feature, called ViewShare, allows users to create a limited network of friends who can watch films saved in a customer's LiveShelf online locker – either titles bought or rented digitally or uploaded from a user's own movie file. Voddler CEO Marcus Backlund said the technology “embraces the fact that people have always lent movies to each other. It lets us all continue to invite our friends to watch the films we have on the LiveShelf just like we have always done in the living room."

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Using ViewShare will not be free, however. Users and any friends wanting to view movies will pay a monthly subscriber fee, money Voddler will split with rights holders.

According to the Scandinavian group, which bills itself as a rival in Europe to companies like Netflix and Amazon's LoveFilm, the service will generate new revenue streams for content owners by “monetizing social viewing."

The firm said the LiveShelf technology will be partner- and platform-neutral and that content owners worldwide can dictate terms such which territories their films can be viewed.

Following LiveShare's European rollout, Voddler says it plans to bow the service worldwide.

The Swedish company, founded in 2006 and backed by mobile phone group Nokia and investment firm Cipio Partners, has some 1.2 million registered users across Spain and Scandinavia.