The short-form online video movement, with its homespun stars, low-budget productions and ceaseless flood of new content, has tried hard to stand apart from the traditional media industry.
So it feels almost unsettling to see online video startups now adopting a very old-school media model. The latest example: New-era studios looking to make money by “windowing” or staggering the rollout of their content.
Digital video companies such as Crunchyroll have been experimenting with some form of windowing content, putting it behind a paywall for a period and then releasing to the larger public. The latest practitioner is Vessel, the video startup from former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, who’s essentially bet the company on the hope that core fans of online video series are willing to pay to get certain shows already available on sites like YouTube earlier on Vessel.