Verizon has a serious appetite for video content as of late. In addition to promoting the heck out of GO90 and its various American sports partnerships, the company bought AOL and Yahoo, which has media aspirations of its own. The latest horse to arrive at the stable is Vessel, a sort of alternative YouTube for creators who try to make "premium" videos that are good enough to warrant subscription payments from users. The service started up last year with channels from notable YouTube creators.
The terms of the deal haven't been disclosed, but this looks like a tech and talent acquisition: Vessel's blog post says that the service will stop operating at the end of the month. Current subscribers get what's left of this month for free, and anyone who's paid for a yearly subscription will be refunded for the sum of their remaining service. At least some of the current Vessel team will continue working for Verizon. Jason Kilar, co-founder of Vessel and formerly of Dreamworks, Amazon, and Hulu, will be leading the transition.
Though the team and the actual tech + product will live on at Verizon in ways that will become apparent in the months and years ahead, sadly we will be sunsetting the Vessel service at the end of this month (October 31).
The more interesting question is, where will all those indie video content producers go? The market for independent artists is a lot more vibrant now, thanks to YouTube Red and indie funding sources like Patreon. Some popular YouTube channels like ScreenJunkies and ScrewAttack now have their own self-funded premium offerings. But having a platform that was decidedly not YouTube was valuable at any size, and with Vessel's end less than two years after its start, that doesn't seem particularly likely any time soon.