Just over a year ago former Hulu execs Jason Kilar and Richard Tom launched the new video hosting website Vessel. Since then little to no real news has been reported on the site. After my previous article on Markiplier’s “Youtube Has Changed” video I wanted to take a closer look at Vessel. In this article I’ll dig into the possibilities of what Vessel could mean for the future of the Internet and why it’s important that it continue to grow.
-Healthy Competition in a Good Thing-
In the past few years Youtube has positioned itself as the biggest website for video hosting and at the moment there are no real competitors. Sure, Vimeo is working hard to be a bigger and better site, but as of now it’s more for filmmakers than the general public. Vessel is cutting deals with online creators who have become fed up with Youtube’s ways. Doug Walker (aka The Nostalgia Critic) recently spoke out against Yotube’s strikes and claims system and how it’s stifling an artist’s right to fair use. He’s now signed up with Vessel and is part of their early access program. Many creators including Epic Meal Time and Linus Tech Tips are also getting on board for an additional revenue stream. If Vessel can position itself as a safe haven for these people you could see a mass migration of creators from Youtube.
-Being an Ally to Creators-
As I spoke about in the previous paragraph there’s a battle being fought on Youtube. Studios are abusing Youtube’s copyright system as a way to not only delete videos and channels, but also take take ad revenue from Youtubers. Youtube seems to take a slow time in dealing with claims and strikes brought against channels. Often there’s not even an actual person from the company involved in the process. If Vessel could step up and declare that they’d be more hands on with these issues and act as mediators more people would be willing to put their work out there. Creators could breathe and not fear a system being abused to their disadvantage.
-A Merging of Worlds-
It’s interesting to see that people who were once part of Hulu and worked with major studios are building a website that is partnering with online creators. They see the value in these people and what they mean to the future of entertainment. Vessel could act as the bridge between traditional media and self made filmmakers. Kilar and Tom might use their former Hulu connections to get online creators the meetings they’ve been denied due to the stigma currently associated with being an Internet celebrity. And in turn lead to these people getting pulled into Hollywood productions.
-What I Fear-
With only about fifteen months under their belt Vessel still has yet to make a real impact in the online community. Going forward I hope they begin to market themselves a little better. While they’re using the creators who sign up to help promote the website that can only go so far. Show that you’re a stronger alternative to Youtube with both a cheaper premium subscription rate and getting a larger slice of the profits into the filmmaker’s hands. If they don’t become bigger over the next year or two I fear their only other option will be absorption. And the very last thing I’d want to see is Vessel being bought out by Youtube. We can not live in a world where a monopoly reigns over online video hosting.
As always, what are your thoughts? Can Vessel become the website we need it to be? Or is it destined to a future as a second rate site? Could this loosen Youtube’s hold on videos?