YouTube rival Vessel has officially launched to the public.
The site, which opened up to creators three months ago, promised an alternative service that would prioritise the producers of short-form videos, which have traditionally relied upon pre-roll adverts for an income. Vessel’s model charges consumers $2.99 a month to watch videos early, with content published on the site at least 72 hours before they arrive on sites such as YouTube. After this period, the videos are available to watch for free on Vessel and other sites.
“If you are a creator on the free web, the cheque that comes out to you after the distributor takes their cut is about $2.20 per thousand views, or maybe $3. We’re projecting that creators will make over $50 per thousand views for the period of time they’re making their video available on Vessel for early access,” founder Jason Kilar told The Guardian back in February.
The site has extended that 72-hour model to its overall operation too, promising that anyone who subscribes within the first 72 hours of its launch this week will be given a free account for a year.
“We have been working hard to welcome more creators to Vessel and to refine the service, adding new features and performance enhancements that make the experience of watching videos through the platform even better,” say its creators on the site’s official blog.
“We’re thankful to the many creators who have invested their time and placed their trust in Vessel,” they continue, before adding: “We believe that we are entering the second era of web video.”
The site may not plan to topple YouTube, a la Facebook or Twitter’s steps into the video sector, but with many creators struggling to make money from their footage, Vessel could prove a significant shake-up to the economics of online video.
Will it work? Would you sign up? Let us know your thoughts below.