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Vessel Goes Ad-Free for Subscribers; Intros Annual Payment Plan

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The YouTube competitor Vessel announced that its paid subscribers will no longer see ads. This continues a trend in meeting online viewers' preferences, following Hulu's introduction of an ad-free tier in September 2015 and YouTube Red launching in October 2015 as an ad-free YouTube membership plan.

Vessel debuted in late March 2015, letting online video fans pay $2.99 per month for early access to works from favorite YouTube creators. Along with its ad-free announcement, Vessel also revealed a new annual membership rate of $19.99.

Vessel broke the news in a blog post authored by company CEO and co-founder Jason Kilar. "One of the most popular requests has been for an ad-free experience. In response, we are excited to announce that, starting today, we will be making Vessel ad-free for all paying subscribers," Kilar wrote.

The site offers more than 300,000 videos from over 250 creators, Kilar continued. It's currently experimenting with offering full-year exclusives, and counts subscribers in over 155 countries. Kilar did not offer subscriber numbers. Citing an unnamed source, VideoInk suggests that the real reason Vessel is going ad-free is that it can't provide the scale advertisers are asking for.

Besides the ad-free option, Vessel offers a free service that does show ads. The company has raised over $134 million in venture funding.

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Members who sign up in the first three days will get 12 months of premium service for free; after that $2.99 per month.