Following a brief invitation-only beta trial, Vessel, Jason Kilar’s over-the-top subscription VOD service, has gone live to the public at large.
“Today, we’re opening Vessel to everyone,” Kilar, Vessel’s CEO and the former head of Hulu, and Vessel co-founder and CTO Richard Tom (CTO) announced on the Vessel blog, noting that they’ve been adding features and refining the service during the beta phase. “We believe that today’s online creators make the videos that matter most to the next generation of video consumers.”
As detailed by Vessel in December, the service's “early access” subscription product provides temporary exclusives to short-form videos for $2.99 per month. After that limited exclusivity window, typically 72 hours, Vessel’s content partners are free to make their videos available via YouTube, their own Web sites, or any other online distributor. Vessel also offers a slate of free, ad-supported, non-exclusive videos.
Vessel believes its economic model will give it a leg up in the hot multichannel network (MCN) market by luring subscribers and creating an economic model that will attract top talent and content creators.
UPDATE: To prime the pump, Vessel is offering a free year of early access to consumers who sign up during the first 72 hours that Vessel is available (until 11:59 PT Thursday, March 26). "Many of the creators we're working with will be actively promoting this offer, starting tomorrow," a Vessel official said in an emailed message.
Vessel is initially being offered on iOS devices and on the Web at Vessel.com.
In the early going, Vessel offers several content categories that users can follow, including action sports, cars, gaming, fashion & beauty and life performances, as well as the ability to pick and choose favorites from Vessel partners such as Rhett and Link, Tanya Burr, Machinima, Tastemade, Lifetime, FYI, Fox Sports, A&E and History Channel.