With over a billion visitors each month, it'd be quite an understatement to say that YouTube has a good hold on the online video market. But that doesn't mean that the incredible growth the service has experienced since its launch couldn't halt -- or worse, begin to reverse. This is a reality Google takes very seriously.
This has especially been true in recent months, as certain competitors have begun to become a real threat. One example is Vessel, a service that hasn't even launched yet. Founded by former Hulu exec Jason Kilar, Vessel recently closed a round of funding worth $75 million, so it's probably of little surprise that Google is watching the company like a hawk.
Well, it's for that reason and the little fact that Vessel has been actively targeting popular YouTube stars and offering them alluring agreements.
According to insiders, Vessel's current plan is to launch later this month with an impressive collection of channels under its belt. There's no better way to accomplish that than by snatching up some of YouTube's top content creators, and that's just what it's been doing. We're not sure who signed up with Vessel so far, but word has it that the deals are very lucrative.
Vessel isn't looking to have people abandon YouTube; instead, it wants them to treat YouTube as their secondary platform, giving exclusive rights to Vessel to air any given video in advance of its release on YouTube. Likewise, and especially since Vessel's aggressive actions, YouTube has tried the same. It's been offering key deals in recent months to prevent people from leaving, going as far as to lock them in for a couple of years at a time.
According to one popular YouTuber, beauty adviser Michelle Phan, the service is at no risk of losing visitors. "If you want to get lost in the Internet black hole you go on YouTube." Vessel is aiming to become a service that focuses on high-quality content, rather than one that allows anybody to upload whatever he or she wants.
If presented well, Vessel could definitely become a real competitor to YouTube, and it's one battle I'm personally looking forward to seeing play out.