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Verizon Acquires Video Startup Vessel And Here's What It Plans To Do

28 October 2016, 3:51 am EDT By Horia Ungureanu Tech Times
Verizon announced its plans to buy Vessel, the video service startup, and it has important plans for its technology. Less good news was in tow for Vessel’s co-founder, Jason Kilar.  ( Justin Sullivan | Getty Images )

Verizon is setting its eyes on the technology developed by Vessel, the short-form video firm. The carrier says it will buy the small company, which is the brainchild of ex Hulu head, Jason Kilar.

The telecom corporation will be purchasing the startup's product and technology, and it is open about plans to pull the plug on the Vessel service. Verizon's plans do not include bringing Kilar in their team after the merger. However, Vessel's co-founder CTO Richard Tom will be joining Verizon as the company's CTO for digital entertainment efforts. Part of Tom's responsibilities will include taking care of the carrier's Go90 mobile video service.

Reports surfaced as early as last month pointing out that Verizon is studying the opportunity of acquiring Vessel. As a reminder, the startup debuted in 2015.

The transaction between Verizon and Vessel should be inked in the next 30 days, but no details of the arrangement were disclosed.

This is not the first move forward from Verizon and AT&T, as both data carriers are aiming to maximize their foothold in the service world. Notably, Verizon bought AOL in 2015 and is in talks with Yahoo for a merger, while AT&T purchased DirecTV and recently unveiled that it's planning to bring Time Warner under its wing. The rumored sum AT&T is willing to shell out to buy Time Warner is a whopping $86 billion.

Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, commends the deal saying customers will have most to win after Time Warner becomes part of AT&T's family. If the net neutrality laws will be respected, that is. As a reminder, Hastings is a vocal advocate of net neutrality so it's no wonder he emphasized the matter in his rather positive speech about the deal.

Chip Canter, Entertainment GM of Verizon, said in an interview that his company aims to integrate a part of Vessel's social features into the content strategy that Verizon has in place.

The Big Red network is looking into ways to turn the free Go90 service into paid subscriptions and promises that premium services based on Vessel's accomplishments are in tow.

"We saw an opportunity to accelerate those efforts," Canter notes.

Current Vessel subscribers should know that those who signed up for a year's worth of service will get a prorated refund. What's more, Verizon says the subscription for October will come for free to all customers of the service.

Tom kept mum about the total number of people who subscribed to Vessel's service.

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