New startup Vessel is looking to carve a niche for itself in online video as activity picks up in the promising field, Chief Executive Jason Kilar said in an interview with the Guardian.
“We want to make media better. That’s what gets us excited every day, ” said Kilar, promising larger payouts than YouTube that will enable creators to boost their production quality and creative ambitions, and in turn earn more money.
“If you are a creator on the free web, the check 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, ” he added, the Guardian said.
Vessel will set aside 60% of its subscription revenues as a pot for creators, divided up by their channels’ share of overall “watch time” on Vessel. Each channel will also get 70% of the revenues from ads running alongside their videos, plus referral fees whenever they get a fan to sign up to a subscription, the report said.
However, Kilar asserts that Vessel should be seen as complementary to YouTube, not a replacement. “We’re not in any way suggesting that people step away from their free web businesses. We’re introducing a new opportunity for them, ” he said.
“The insight here is that early access is very valuable, and there’s a subset of the world’s population that is happy to pay for that early access. What we’ve built, we’re internally calling the first window for the web: an early-access, ad-supported subscription service, ” Kilar told the Guardian.
“We think that early-access period is worth around 20 times more per view to creators than what they’re currently receiving from the free, ad-supported window. But the combination of the two is very important, just as the combination of theatrical and download is very important to filmmakers.”
He also said, “Our target market out of the gate is ages 14 to 24, but as we grow, just like television and filmmaking, there’ll be something for everyone, ” according to Kilar, who thinks that as creators earn more money, they will be able to invest more in the kind of videos that they make, the Guardian said.
Kilar is banging the drum for short-form video to be just as disruptive within the media industry as the longer formats of the latter two companies. “Companies diving into this space are realizing it’s an opportunity for them to redefine the next generation of television, ” he said, comparing the current situation with the dawn of cable TV in the early 1980s, the report said.
“Companies like ESPN, MTV and Discovery claimed most of the value in that industry for the next 30 years, and there’s a bit of the same thing going on now. Some very valuable businesses can be built, but you’re going to have to move fast.”