Hulu's former chief shows how he'll take on YouTube

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Jon Fingas
December 17th, 2014
Hulu's former chief shows how he'll take on YouTube

If you've been wondering exactly how former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar would take on internet video heavyweights like YouTube, you now have your answer. Kilar's startup, Vessel, has both opened the doors to video producers and revealed just how you'll use the service when it's open to the public. There will be a regular, ad-laden free version, but you'll also have the option of a $3 per month subscription that gives you both early access and a more "modest" level of advertising. It won't be the ad-free paradise you might like, then, but Vessel is luring creators with higher royalties (they could earn 20 times what they do through ad-only services) and hoping they'll use this to make more and better videos.

The company has already signed up big names that you'll probably recognize, such as Machinima, Rhett & Link and the three largest music labels (Sony, Warner and Universal). However, it still faces an uphill battle against YouTube, which has an established name, a gigantic catalog and a presence on legions of devices. It'll have to offer enough quality videos that you don't mind leaving your current subscriptions and apps by the wayside -- and that may take a long time, even if it proves an early hit.
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