Hulu CEO Jason Kilar founded Vessel as an alternative to YouTube and now has made the OTT service ad-free for all paying subs with a new annual price of $19.99.
Kilar said user feedback showed “ the most popular request has been for an ad-free experience.”
The ad-free option includes customers who pay $2.99 per month, as well as those who opt for the new annual subscription plan. Viewers who tune in to Vessel without a paid subscription can still tap in for free, but with ads.
Vessel launched a year ago. Its “early access” subscription product provides temporary exclusives (usually a 72-hour window ) to short-form videos for $2.99 per month. After that, Vessel’s content partners are free to make their videos available via YouTube, their own Web sites, or any other online distributor. Vessel hasn’t announced subs numbers.
Kilar said Vessel’s paid, early access service continue to earn more than $50 in revenue per thousand views, and that the service currently offers about 300,000 videos from over 250 content partners – up more than 50% since last summer.
Vessel has raised more than $134 million of investment.