Short-form video subscription service Vessel has officially launched on iOS with some interesting partnerships.
Vessel is a mobile video service that serves up a selection of content from around the web for $2.99 a month. The video platform distinguishes itself from YouTube, Vimeo, and Hulu by offering only short-form video with a 72-hour exclusive period.
Already the company has signed agreements with some big TV networks, including Discovery Digital Networks (including for the network’s popular program MythBusters), the Science Channel, A&E, NBC, and the NBA. The Science Channel says it will show its Outrageous Acts of Science program on Vessel, and NBC will feature snippets from The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers. The NBA says it will offer sports recaps on the platform.
Vessel has also struck deals with some YouTube stars like GloZell Green, as well as with Internet-only programs, like Alec Baldwin’s Love Ride.
In addition, the app will feature videos from major media entities like Time Inc., Buzzfeed, the New York Times, and the Verge, though those companies will not be sharing content exclusively under any terms.
Essentially, Vessel is creating a platform that aggregates some of the best free content on the web and charges a small fee for exclusive early access to that programming. It’s also offering content creators a chance to make a little extra money — or a lot of extra money.
By charging a subscription fee and running advertisements, the company says it’s able to land content creators $50 per thousand impressions. In contrast, according to a few different sources, it seems that YouTube stars generally make anywhere from $0.20 to $10 per thousand impressions.
As television finally — if slowly — moves to the web, Vessel is making a pitch to be part of your overall digital subscription package, alongside SlingTV and HBO Go. At $2.99 its pricing is far less than the average channel subscription, but then again, the bulk of its content is inherently free.
This may make it hard for the company to get users to sign up, especially since Vessel does show advertising.
But with $75 million in a single round of venture funding, it’s clear the company’s investors think Vessel will be popular.