Now imagine paying for the privilege.
Vessel, from former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar and CTO Richard Tom, proposes you do just that: pay $2.99 per month to get your videos three days earlier than the rest of the internet.
You’re not alone if you think this is a tough sell to a market obsessed with getting things for free, but Hulu Plus (which offered shows seven days earlier for a fee) did pretty well with the model, becoming the fastest paid subscription service, according to Kilar.
The team has also made the first year of Vessel for free, so that will help.
There are currently 30 video content creators, including more mainstream offerings like Discovery Channel and Entertainment TV. The Vessel service hopes to add another 135 providers to the system soon.
Signing up for Vessel is a straightforward affair on the web, with a simple sign up process and a three to four step on-boarding. Simply create a username and password, add in your email address and some demographic information, choose from different topics and then add up to 100 YouTube channels for free. You can change the channels and topics you subscribe to later on via an easy menu in the web interface.
When you click into any of the videos you’ve selected with the above process, you’ll see a short ad and then watch the video on your Mac or PC. You can maximize to full screen, too. It’s an attractive, easy to navigate interface that seems to do away with the dreaded YouTube comments in favor of its own system — a huge plus in my book.
You can also download and sign into the iOS app to get a similar experience, except the ads you’ll see on the mobile platform are designed to be shorter: only 5 second pre-roll and quick static interstitial ads here.
Overall, it’s going to be a while (when the free year runs out) till we see whether people are willing to pay for the privilege of 72 hour advance access to free YouTube videos.