Ex-Hulu CEO Jason Kilar has just revealed his latest project, a video platform that will offer subscribers "early access" to certain videos.
The service, which has been rumoured for some time, will go live in early 2015 and offer a two-tier subscription service. There'll be a free ad-supported option, or a $2.99-a-month choice that will offer "early access to the web's best short-form videos" but will still have ads, it seems.
Videos will sit in the early access zone for at least 72 hours, says Vessel, before moving into the free tier. While there'll be plenty on offer for subscribers, this is a platform that wants to be more focused on the content creators than rivals like YouTube are.
"Despite the many positive things that the internet has made possible in media, to date there hasn't been a clear path for most of these talented creators to build sustainable, enduring businesses on the basis of their video storytelling alone," said Kilar in a blog post. "We believe that media can, and should, do much better."
During the early access period, Vessel reckons that video creators will earn around $50 for every thousand views (up to 20 times the amount earned from free, ad-supported distribution, it says). After that point they will continue to make money from the free ad-supported platform.
We recently heard that YouTube was frantically trying to keep hold of talent that was being tempted away by Vessel, and when you consider that Kilar made Hulu such a successful, lucrative platform, YouTube has every right to be concerned.
It's currently not clear whether Vessel will be a global service, but if it wants to truly take on YouTube and others, it'll need to be. Vessel is now open for creators to start submitting their content.
"Today, most creators and content owners put their content on the free, ad-supported web in the hope that they can create a sustainable business," said Kilar. "However, they often only earn low, single-digit dollars for every thousand views their videos generate."
"We believe in a world where consumers can enjoy top quality content online – a world where creators can build real businesses and take their productions to new heights. This is why we created Vessel".