December 9, 2014
As Facebook’s video startup Vessel begins to take shape, the company has aggressively pursued some of YouTube’s most popular online stars. In response, Google has been structuring more lucrative deals for its stars to keep them from leaving. The company has gone as far as offering multiyear deals, performance-based bonuses and additional funding for video production. Although Vessel has yet to launch, it is reportedly looking to secure programming in advance of its debut.
The Wall Street Journal reports that those close to the subject have said that “YouTube executives are particularly concerned about Vessel,” a company with the capital and technology to compete and potentially poach some of YouTube’s biggest content creators.
According to sources, Vessel “wants artists to post videos exclusively on its service for up to three days, part of its plan to offer subscribers an advance look at popular short-form video.” To do so, Vessel has prepared sizable deals with advance bonuses and pitched its platform as a “nicer neighborhood for [creator’s] videos than YouTube,” WSJ adds.
YouTube stars will be even more important to Google with the rollout of its own subscription service.
YouTube pays a standard fee of 55 percent of share revenue from ads on all videos. While there are some creators that have argued in favor of a percentage bump, YouTube has yet to meet those demands to avoid setting off a chain of similar demands from other creators.
Vessel and other services including Fullscreen, which has worked closely with YouTube for some time, have already approached plenty of YouTube’s stars. Despite the growing competition, not everyone is prepared to leave YouTube so quickly. Industry insiders have reported that some creators are hesitant to accept other offers because they are fearful of going up against Google.