YouTube has been in a dominant position in the Web video market for almost a decade, but new rivals are starting to pursue some of the major channels on YouTube, to work on exclusive contracts for rival services.
Vessel looks to be commanding the new competitive drive, forcing YouTube to offer more lucrative partnerships with channels. The Wall Street Journal reports various channels have been getting offers from Vessel.
The exclusive deals might mean big YouTube channels put out content three days early on Vessel. Facebook has also reportedly tried to poach channels from YouTube, to build up its video service.
Currently, YouTube is far and away the most popular video service, but upstarts like Twitch.TV and Facebook are taking some percentage. Netflix is another big service, but offers a completely different style of video in the form of TV shows and movies.
Vessel has apparently ended a $75 million round of funding and is preparing to launch in 2015. The service will be available through a subscription, a weird way to do informal video content, especially if Vessel is targeting the YouTube audience.
YouTube has been — for the most part — a free service. There is a new YouTube Music Key for $7.99 (£5.99) and paid channels have been tested, but neither make enough revenue to change the ad-supported model.
The ad-supported model is one of the reasons some channels have grew to such a large audience. The content is essentially free and many top YouTubers make more money through merchandise sales and appearing at events.
Vessel may have trouble bringing the same audience that watch PewDiePie, MKBHD, Yogscast, Zoella and even our own Gadgetsboy to a paid subscription model.
Facebook, on the other hand, has a much more prominent place with 1.3 billion signed-up users. If the social network can work on its video delivery service and make sure videos arrive in the News Feed with commercials, it could be a huge rival.