Vessel and the “Motion Poster”

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Recently I read about a new video platform, Vessel, which was created by the former CEO of Hulu. While it has not yet gained much popularity or even come close to having the same amount of content or viewership as YouTube, one interesting aspect of it sticks out to me.

Instead of advertising with pop-up ads or commercials the way that YouTube does, Vessel has created a whole new type of online advertising that they call the “motion poster”. It’s described as “a static image that becomes animated when you scroll by it — and lets you keep scrolling if you’re not interested,” by author Peter Kafka who’s had some experience with the site.

Not only am I curious to see if Vessel itself gets attention, but I am interested in the future of this type of advertising. Instead of forcing a user to watch an entire commercial about something they’re not interested in, the user can scroll to a different animated ad. As everything online becomes more personalized, this form of advertising is yet another way for users to make their online experience better suited towards them. Additionally, it’s another great way for advertisers to collect insights on viewers, collecting data about which ads users scroll past and which ones catch their attention.

Another thing that strikes me about Vessel is its emphasis on phones and tablets, not computers. The creator discusses his audience as mainly using the smaller, hand-held devices when watching videos on Vessel. This only strikes me as interesting because the main place I watch videos is my computer; however, mobile-first technology is a major trend of 2015, so perhaps Vessel is just getting a head start. Regardless, I’m excited to follow Vessel over the next few months and see what impact it has not only on the future of video, but on the future of online advertising.


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