Jason Kilar, the former Hulu chief, is currently in the business of pursuing talented, online video producers, and trying to get them to give him their content with better terms than they can get from YouTube.
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According to NMR, Kilar’s re-entry into the online video market has been cagey, even keeping secret the name of his startup, Vessel, until last month—its former name was The Fremont Project.
According to a report in The Information, Kilar’s Vessel recently concluded a $75 million funding round and, according to various online sources, will offer some minimum guarantees to established YouTube creators of premium online video, in return for an exclusive window of thirty days.
By all accounts, Vessel is trying to become the home for quality shorts, leaving You Tube with the amateur stuff. Except their not so much building up their content stable as poaching them from the established service.
A statement on Vessel’s home page reads:
Hello from Vessel
We’ve been busy building a service whose mission is to delight consumers and content creators alike. Though we still have more work to do at Vessel, we want to share this brief update and reach out to the creator community. If you are a content creator, particularly a video content creator, we should talk!
We have assembled a unique and talented team, with strong experience building and innovating at places like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon. As a team, we are unusually passionate about the intersection of media and technology; we see an opportunity to improve media, particularly next generation video.
Our investors, led by Benchmark, Greylock Partners, and Bezos Expeditions (the personal investment company of Jeff Bezos), are world class and gifted builders. To have such an amazing group put their faith in us is energizing and humbling.
We’ll have much more to share prior to the end of the year. But for now, it’s back to work for us!
And a separate note says:
Are you a video creator?
We’d love to talk.
Contact us at email@example.com
The terms have to be attractive to many content creators, who have been unhappy with the revenue share model they’ve had to accept from the Google-owned YouTube.
Yahoo is also soliciting makers of premium online video, as part of their efforts to rack up original programming. Yahoo recently announced it would finance a new season of the former NBC comedy series Community.
No idea why, though…
Kilar is running Vessel with Richard Tom, his former CTO at Hulu. Both quit their jobs at Hulu in 2013.