There’s a stirring in the online video world. A change is in the wind. That wind of change is blowing hardest from a new start-up Vessel.
Vessel is a paid for video content service which is currently in beta. It allows content creators who were previously using Youtube’s free-web style of content delivery to increase monetisation through the use of Vessels subscriber platform. Currently Youtube uses a free-web style of monetisation, where by content is delivered along side a multitude of ads. Vessel is flipping this concept on it’s head, by allowing users to pay a subscription which in turn means no need for adverts. Which many find distracting or intrusive. Content creators are required to upload content at least 48 hours before they would upload the content to Youtube. But in return they get a cut of the subscription fee.
“In fact you could call this the Hulu for Youtube. Although that’s probably a tag Vessel are keen to avoid.”
Launched by ex-Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, so you can be sure it’ll be subscription video done right. In fact you could call this the Hulu for Youtube. Although that’s probably a tag Vessel are keen to avoid. That said they’ve signed up a vast amount of Youtube centric talent. Including Shane Dawson, Rhett And Link, Epic Meal Times, Caspar Lee, and Connor Franta, amongst others.
Along side these content creators are big brands such as BuzzFeed, TED, Time Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal as well as music videos from the Warner Music catalogue.
My First Week
So i’ve been using Vessel for just over a week. Sign up was easy, with the site requiring me to select what topics i’m interested in as well as a few channels that I wished to follow off the bat. Once that was completed, you’re thrown into the feed. Styled more like a VOD service, with the site being clearly designed towards being responsive. It’s a layout thats much more iPlayer than Youtube feed.
“When the pair announced it was “Thursday, and Thursday means mail.” I found myself thinking nope it’s Wednesday.”
I’m a huge Youtube video consumer, with my day being eaten by at least two hours of viewing a day. My regular viewing will take in the daily web series Good Mythical Morning produced by self proclaimed Intertainers Rhett and Link. So it was rather interesting and somewhat surreal to be able to view this a day ahead of Youtube. When the pair announced it was “Thursday, and Thursday means mail.” I found myself thinking nope it’s Wednesday.
Another difference I found was the ability to find something interesting to watch. With the hand picked approach to content. Vessel have been able to select the cream of the crop when it comes to video creators. While Youtube is and has always been a bit of a free for all. I found that after a few days of tweaking my subscriptions, or follows as Vessel calls them. I could sit back and let it auto play through without feeling the need to skip to the next video. This is something I find myself doing a lot when it comes to Youtube (there’s only so many Minecraft play throughs a man can watch.).
Will Vessel be a challenge to Youtube’s market dominance ? I don’t really think so. What Vessel might be able to do though is pull people like myself who consume, large amounts of, should we say ‘professional’ content which is produced by the bigger Youtubers away from Google’s platform. But at the end of the day, there is always going to be a audience for Kitten, and Fail videos.
It’s early days for Kilar’s new service. With talk of offering a paid for and free service. It might just come down to wether of not users prefer Vessel’s slightly more VOD style over Youtube’s somewhat dated layout. But anyway excuse me, i’ve got to go watch tomorrow’s Good Mythical Morning.
Here’s how Vessel have been selling their service to content creators.