Hulu's Former CEO Just Launched a Subscription-Based YouTube Rival

By Adam Clark Estes on at

YouTube pretty much won the video war years ago, but there are still plenty of people vying for some of the action. Remember Viddy? Jason Kilar, former CEO of US streaming service Hulu, thinks that his new startup video site Vessel offers a unique subscription-based model ($3/£1.90 a month) that can pull YouTube stars over to a new platform. Long story short: Vessel will pay them more.

The new pay-to-play video site soft-launched today, but you can't watch anything on Vessel yet. For now, the company is recruiting video producers (read: YouTube stars) to launch videos on Vessel for an exclusive 3-day "window". Producers could then, presumably, post the videos on YouTube for a broader audience. However, their views on Vessel would yield producers 60 per cent of the site's subscription revenue and 70 per cent of ad revenue. That's a very nice upgrade from 55 per cent of ad revenue producers get from YouTube. Put another way, producers would earn £32 per thousand views on Vessel, while they currently earn just £1.20 per thousand on YouTube.

This is all assuming that people want to pay just shy of £2 a month for a sneak peek at videos that they can watch for nothing on YouTube three days later. But Kilar and company are hustling to sign up talent that's good enough to sway them. Heck, even Alec Baldwin's going to do a show—something about hanging out in the back of a taxi called "Love Ride." Which, if you're going to pay £2 a month for anything, you might as well pay to watch a grey-haired Alec Baldwin stare out the window of a taxi cab, right? Right?! [Re/code]

Image via Vessel