After the acquisition, which is set to close by the end of this month, Verizon will absorb Vessel’s cliental and shutdown the service.
Today, Verizon disclosed that it has acquired Vessel, a startup created by former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar. Vessel is a subscription service which provides short-form videos.
Acquired may not be the correct term here. Verizon bought the company for its technology and products and is slated to close its services.
As part of the deal, Vessel’s Chief Technological Officer and co-founder Richard Tom and its employees will become part of Verizon’s digital entertainment efforts.
The deal is expected to close later this month.
Neither Vessel nor Verizon has disclosed the terms of the deal.
During an interview, a general manager for Verizon said there is a plan to merge Verizon’s extant content with Vessel’s social features.
It could involve the free Go90 content service which could soon transition into a paid subscription model. While Vessel’s annual subscribers will get a prorated refund so as to make up for its soon-to-be-closed service.
All of Vessel’s customers will not be charged for usage of its service during October.
As for Kilar, he left as Hulu’s CEO fir unstated reasons. While quitting he took Tom with him. They put their heads together and in June 2014, they talked about a startup they have been working on: Vessel.
They had envisioned the service as a rival to YouTube, and had offered both a free and a $3 month subscription service for exclusive ad-free content.
But given YouTube large viewership and immense content library, Vessel could never really penetrate the market, which is dominated by YouTube.
Now that Tom is at Verizon, it’s still unclear where Kilar will go from here.