Short-form video site Vessel starts rolling out exclusive content

Vessel
Credit: Vessel

You still need an invitation to try out Vessel, former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar's new short form video site. As frustrating as the wait can be, there is a bright side. When I first tried Vessel I couldn't find any content that wasn't also available elsewhere. That will have changed by the time you get in. In fact it already has.

Earlier this month Vessel announced that new episodes of Alec Baldwin's Love Ride were filming and that they will appear "first, and exclusively" on Vessel. Love Ride is a kind of twist on Cash Cab that has unsuspecting couples getting relationship advice from Baldwin during a cab ride. It's produced by the folks at Above Average. The first new episode went live on Vessel on February 12th and new episodes are set to follow every two weeks.

I can find the old episodes of Love Ride on YouTube, but the new episode, titled Courtney + Shawn, is indeed only available on Vessel (at least, I can't find it elsewhere). 

Yesterday there was more good news for Vessel. Re/Code reports that Vessel has brokered a deal with Universal Music Group for early access to some of its music videos. Unfortunately there are few specifics available; it's not clear which artists or how many videos are covered by the deal.

I feel like this is a good start for Vessel; the site needs unique content to pull us away from YouTube or Vimeo and I'd argue it wouldn't take many unique series to make the service worth its $3/month subscription price (particularly if they keep it ad free, which it currently is). I do hope they have a few more lined up before opening the gates to the general public.

The next challenge for Vessel, at least if they want to keep me as a subscriber, is expanding mind-share, but that should come with time. I don't know about you but I rarely go to YouTube.com's home page. Instead I follow a link someone has shared. I find I 'forget' to go to Vessel very often because no one is sharing links to it (understandable since it's still invite only).

I'll also repeat my hope for some kind of streaming apps. I'm an old man; I still enjoy looking at content on my big-screen TV. I hope to see Vessel on Apple TV/Roku/Fire TV, or even on the PS4 and Xbox One, before too long.

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