Hulu's former CEO has launched a direct competitor to YouTube, called Vessel, following an open call last month for creators to join.
Jason Kilar dreamed up Vessel because he wanted to overhaul the online video business. He, along with former execs from Amazon and Microsoft, therefore created a service that is quickly attracting networks, YouTube stars, and labels by promising to make them more money.
The idea behind Vessel is that fans will be able to pay for early, exclusive access to their favourite videos. For $2.99 a month, subscribers will get access to short videos for three days before they're available elsewhere. Some adverts will also be incorporated into the videos.
After the 72-hour windows ends, content creators will be free to post their videos elsewhere, including on YouTube, and then their videos on Vessel will become free and advert-supported. Vessel initially opened to only certain creators, but now a consumer launch is in full swing.
Some critics have argued that Vessel won't work because it's essentially about getting viewers to pay for YouTube content three days early. But keep in mind YouTube stars have huge, die-hard fanbases. PewDiePie, YouTube's most popular star, has nearly 34 million subscribers.
Kilar has described Vessel as a "missing piece in the ecosystem" and believes fans will be more than willing to pay for early access to videos. If you're still unsure about paying, Vessel is offering a one-month free trial to new users of the web and iOS apps.
Although anyone can technically request to join, Vessel has described its official launch as an "invite-required beta". It is in the process of inviting fans who have registered to try the service via Vessel's site, and invites are going out on a first-come, first-served basis.
Vessel is already offering content from major networks, including Machinima and A&E, as well as YouTube stars Shane Dawson and Marcus Butler, and music labels like Warner Music Group.
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