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Former Hulu chief’s Vessel launches to the public

VesselVessel, the online video start-up from former Hulu boss Jason Kilar and former Hulu CTO Richard Tom, has launched to the public, concluding a 60-day beta trial

Announcing the full launch, the video service said it had used the trial period to bring more content creators to the site and to add “new features and performance enhancements” designed to improve the video playback experience.

“Most importantly, we have been listening carefully to feedback from consumers, creators, and our advertisers about how we could improve the service,” said Kilar and Tom in a blog post.

Vessel is designed to offer “early access to the web’s best short-form creators”, with users paying US$2.99 per-month to get access to videos – typically for a 72-hour period – before they are available for free on the web on sites like YouTube.

Vessel said that fans who sign up to the service in the next three days will get free access to the site for a year.

“We believe that today’s online creators make the videos that matter most to the next generation of video consumers. These creators are developing new formats and shows that are authentic, personal, relevant and relatable to millions of fans around the globe,” said Kilar and Tom.

Outlining their vision for the service, which is currently available online and as an app from the Apple App Store, the pair added: “We believe that the device in your pocket will be the screen that matters most. These mobile devices are always present, accessible and available, enabling you to watch videos wherever and whenever you want.

“Because this screen is fundamentally different from the TV in your living room, it has changed how we consume video. As that happens, the videos and shows we watch are changing, too.”

“Lastly, we believe that we are entering the second era of web video. All of the amazing things that happened in the first era of online video are just a prelude to what’s coming next.”