Verizon invests in content discovery, recommendation and experience with acquisition of Vessel’s technology

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NEW YORK – To accelerate OTT video efforts and roll out of enhanced content discovery and innovative features, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire the technology and software that underlies Vessel’s online video subscription service, which provides early access to videos from online video stars, and to hire most of Vessel’s employees. Led by an exceptional executive talent pool and technology team, including some of the original founding team at Hulu, Vessel has developed smart video platforms that provide experiences that match today’s viewer demand.

Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. The acquisition is subject to the satisfaction of several closing conditions and is expected to close later this month.

“When we examined and evaluated all that the Vessel team has executed to date and their technical strengths in areas of content discovery, recommendation, OTT subscription management and user experience management we were able to identify a number of ways this was a smart pairing,” said Chip Canter, GM of Verizon Entertainment. “With Richard Tom leading technology and operations and Lonn Lee heading up product, we have the upmost confidence in our ability together to rapidly execute and enhance our products.”

“We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to help shape the future of video on a dramatically larger scale with Verizon,” said Richard Tom, Co-founder and CTO at Vessel. “We are grateful for their confidence in our technology, product and team as well as their commitment to the innovation ahead in online video.”

Today, Verizon’s multi-platform video strategy is driven by unmet customer and advertiser needs and matches the trends of increasing wireless video traffic and decreasing large bundle demand. Verizon is committed to providing content from the industry’s top creators on a mobile-first distribution platform both on and off the Verizon network.