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Verizon reportedly set to buy Vessel

Jason Kilar

Jason Kilar

US telco Verizon is in position to acquire mobile video platform Vessel, according to a report.

Ex-Hulu CEO Jason Kilar and CTO Richard Tom launched Vessel in March 2015 as a start-up after raising millions of dollars in investment.

The plan was to offer YouTube stars an alternative to the Google-owned platform, but failed to sign major talent and has subsequently struggled to gain subscribers.

Verizon has been pushing into video distribution, citing content as a reason it bought both AOL, Yahoo and OnCue, which was Intel’s streaming TV service. It also invested in a quarter share of multichannel network Awesomeness TV.

The company recently hired Vessel’s VP of content acquisitons to become chief content officer of Go90, the mobile video platform it operates with magazine publisher Hearst. It has now moved to acquire Vessel, according to Recode.

A deal would allow Verizon to combine the programming assets of Go90 and Vessel, with its various distribution platforms offering a vertically integrated route to market.