Verizon Buys Jason Kilar’s Video Service Vessel

Company plans to shut down subscription platform launched in March 2015

Last Updated: October 26, 2016 @ 3:29 PM

Verizon is buying Vessel, the subscription video start-up launched by former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar.

According to a spokesperson for Verizon, the company is buying Vessel’s talent, technology and product, forgoing the start-up’s revenues, ongoing business and content. Verizon is planning to shut down the service, which launched in March 0f last year.

“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 (Oct. 31),” a statement posted on Vessel’s website read. “All subscribers of Vessel will be provided complimentary access for the month of October, and subscribers of our annual plan will be refunded back to the beginning of October.”

Vessel operated on a subscription model at $2.99 monthly price point. The service offered exclusive content from digital stars like popular YouTubers.

“They share our belief that internet protocol will inevitably become the dominant way consumers access great video experiences,” continued the statement. “The Verizon team has backed this conviction with material investments and a focus on what makes them unique in a competitive marketplace. It’s easy for our team to imagine the amazing ways customers can be served when Verizon’s high speed wireless platform is combined with their strategic commitment to video and our team.”

A statement from Verizon added that the company will hire most of Vessel’s employees, but that terms of the transaction, expected to close later this month, have not been disclosed.

Kilar will ensure a smooth transition through the rest of the year but is not expected to stay with the company. Vessel co-founder and CTO Richard Tom will remain at the company to lead technology and operations for Verizon Entertainment.

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