Universal Music Group Connects With Vessel

Universal Music Group (UMG) has inked a deal to premiere select music videos through Vessel, the new premium OTT video startup that is competing with YouTube for content and talent.

Vessel, a service founded by former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, launched its beta version last month alongside a group of initial content providers. Under its model, Vessel offers temporary exclusives to short-form videos for $2.99 per month. Following that exclusive period – at least 72 hours -- Vessel’s partners are free to distribute their content via other platforms.

UMG said it will bow certain videos through Vessel for an exclusive time period before releasing them to free, ad-supported services. The specific artist videos from UMG’s labels that will be featured on Vessel’s paid tier will be revealed in the coming weeks, they said.   

Kilar, Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, announced the arrangmenent Wedneday at Re/Code’s Code/Media conference in Dana Point, Calif.

"Vessel represents the latest business model innovation for premium short-form content and we’re pleased to extend our industry-leading track record of empowering entrepreneurs who are growing the playing field for new content services, Grainge said, in a statement.

“We are excited to work with Lucian and everyone at Universal. Their team has a real gift for finding talented new voices and helping them reach a wider audience through new platforms like Vessel,” added Kilar. “It’s no secret that consumers love music videos. We look forward to giving Universal artists an amazing new home on Vessel.”