The online video market is hot and so everyone is jumping in with their own unique twist.
Jason Kilar, the much admired former CEO of Hulu, is hoping that audiences are willing to pay a premium to see a YouTube video three-day before their non-premium peers. According to AdAge, Jason Kilar's new startup Vessel, which will launch in the next few weeks, is banking that their is a market for windowed release strategy for YouTube videos. Vessel has been signing deals with 100-200 creators on YouTube and offering them cash in exchange for uploading their videos on Vessel three days before they upload it to YouTube.
In term of monetization, Vessel is planning a subscription model and possibly have targeted ads. According to AdAge, Vessel is also borrowing another tactic from Hulu - letting consumers select the most relevant ads to watch.
I'm quite curious about this model as I don't know if a three-day premium is good enough for those who are essentially paying for bragging rights. They get to brag that they have watched it before anyone else. Other than that, I'm not sure of the appeal of paying to watch something three-day before the general public. Still, for three-day, Vessel will be the only place to catch the online video. What the premium gives Vessel is traction and virality. I'm guessing that popular online videos generally gain as much traction as they can in the first three-day and so Vessel is hoping to be the place to release the next Harlem Shake. This is a very interesting business model and if it's successful, expect other companies to imitate it on other video platform.