For about the cost of a gallon of gas you can get videos before they arrive on YouTube. Today, Hulu’s former CEO Jason Kilar released the beta version of his new video subscription service, Vessel, which charges users $3 a month to get a jump on videos from some of YouTube’s top stars.
After signing up for Vessel, users are provided video content that will not appear anywhere else online besides the site for at least 72 hours. Vessel has been poaching YouTube stars for months and will debut with videos from a plethora of YouTube stars, including Tanya Burr Brittani, Louise Taylor, and Connor Franta. Those three are a small fraction of the YouTube creators signing with Vessel. Their YouTube channels combined accumulated 8,144,485 subscribers, and an astonishing 588,991,871 views since June 2009. Vessel has also struck deals with media companies Warner Music Group and A&E Networks to provide content. A&E’s Duck Dynasty will presumably be a part of the deal, as it is featured on the site’s homepage.
To compete with YouTube’s 1 billion monthly unique visitors, Kilar is planning on luring YouTube talents to Vessel with the universal language of money. Vessel plans to provide content creators with 60 percent of all subscription-based revenue. Of that sum, the site breaks profit-sharing down directly by the percentage of time users spend on each piece of content. If your video garners, say, 10 percent of the time spent on the site that month, it earns 10 percent of the pot. And that’s not even counting the ad-revenue sharing, which Kilar claims will be extremely competitive. A savvy streaming industry insider, Kilar seems to be playing hardball in an attempt to entice as many YouTube stars as possible to his fledgling video venture.
Vessel is currently only available in “consumer beta” form on the web, and via an iOS app. If you want to be one of the first to try it, however, you’ll have to sign up for an invite on the official site.