Building a massive viewership for your startup video service can be hard to do without a presence on Android, so today Vessel — the company led by Hulu's ex-CEO Jason Kilar — is launching an app for Google's OS. If you're unfamiliar with Vessel, the service offers subscribers who pay $2.99 per month exclusive early access to popular short form videos. Creators who publish clips on Vessel must wait at least 72 hours before sharing them elsewhere (i.e. YouTube, where many of these viral stars first built their audience), but the company offers higher cuts of ad and subscription revenue in exchange for those early rights.
Kilar's company has rallied over 130 creators so far, and in March, Vessel briefly gave away an entire year of free access to those who signed up in time. (An ad-supported, completely free version of Vessel also exists, but doesn't offer the same "windowed" exclusives.) The Android app features the same clean, intuitive design that Vessel has already established on iOS and the web. But the company is making it clear that this first version is being released in beta form, and Vessel is encouraging user feedback for future improvements and feature requests. It's still too early to tell whether Vessel is truly the "missing link" in original video that Kilar claims it to be, but with today's expansion to Android, Vessel is checking off an essential part of its future strategy.