Universal boards Vessel for online music videos

Universal Music Group (UMG) and premium online video service Vessel have struck a deal to première selected UMG videos through Vessel for an exclusive time period before making the content available on free, ad-supported services.

“Vessel represents the latest business model innovation for premium short-form content and we’re pleased to extend our industry-leading track record of empowering entrepreneurs who are growing the playing field for new content services,” said Lucian Grainge, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music Group. “Jason and his team recognise the substantial value of the music videos created by our world class roster of artists and have built a platform that promises fans a first-rate experience while providing artists and labels new ways to increase the monetisation of their creative work.”

“We are excited to work with Lucian and everyone at Universal. Their team has a real gift for finding talented new voices and helping them reach a wider audience through new platforms like Vessel,” said Jason Kilar, CEO and co-founder of Vessel. “It’s no secret that consumers love music videos. We look forward to giving Universal artists an amazing new home on Vessel.”

The specific artist videos from UMG’s labels that will be featured on Vessel’s paid tier will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Vessel subscribers receive at least 72 hours of exclusive access to short-form, professionally produced content on mobile devices and the Web for the price of $2.99 a month. During the early access period, videos on Vessel can earn a multiple of 20-times more per-view compared with free, ad-supported online video services.

After the exclusive time period, videos posted on Vessel become available on general ad-supported online services, including Vessel’s free, ad-supported offering.

Vessel, a San Francisco-based start-up, was founded in 2013 by Jason Kilar and Richard Tom, the founding CEO and former CTO of Hulu. Vessel’s investors include Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, and Bezos Expeditions.

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