Amazon Video Direct Rolls Out: Should YouTube Be Worried?


Amazon steps further into the video competition, taking on YouTube with Amazon Video Direct.

The new service works pretty much like the Google warhorse, allowing users to upload content to Prime Video and monetize it.

To generate revenue on the platform, creators have a couple of options to choose from: royalties based on hours streamed; a cut from rentals, purchases or monthly subscriptions; or ads. With that said, Amazon account owners can set their clips to be free of charge with ads or included in the Prime subscription that costs $99 per year.

Aside from the money earned through the selected sources, the company says it'll distribute a $1 million bonus to the titles that are part of the top 100 on a monthly basis. Just to be clear, there's no need to sign up for this, as anyone on Video Direct will automatically be included in the mix.

It should also be pointed out that Amazon already goes up against the likes of Netflix on the video-streaming front with original content, exclusive deals with select providers and whatnot via Amazon Video, which recently became available for $8.99 a month. According to the retailer, video makers will have a lucrative venture with Video Direct because it will reach "tens of millions" of customers.

The current list of countries that have Amazon Video consists of the United States, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan, while the supported devices include Fire TV, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, smart TVs and others that can connect to the Web.

On that note, content creators can designate the locations where their clips can be viewed. What's more, they can review the metrics, ranging from the minutes streamed and number of subscribers to the projected revenue and payment history, to help them make grounded measures that'll optimize their videos' performance.

"It's an amazing time to be a content creator. There are more options for distribution than ever before and with Amazon Video Direct, for the first time, there's a self-service option for video providers to get their content into a premium streaming subscription service. We're excited to make it even easier for content creators to find an audience, and for that audience to find great content," Jim Freeman, vice president of Amazon Video, says.

As for the revenue share, the company will take 45 percent from ads on free broadcasts and 50 percent from purchases, rentals and subscriptions.

Interestingly, Amazon mentions some of the early enrollees of the program, including The Guardian, Mashable, Baby Einstein, Business Insider and Machinima, to name a few. That means the service is more focused on video makers under a big company instead of individuals who post personal clips like the case with YouTube.

Long story short, this development looks like it's yet another effort of Amazon to conquer the multimedia game. However, it won't be that easy to go toe-to-toe with YouTube, considering that the Google competitor has a huge head start and a massive user base.

At any rate, Video Direct is still a viable option for any Amazon user who wants to make a living out of videos.

"Helping content creators and visual storytellers reach millions of Amazon customers across hundreds of devices with the same distribution options and delivery quality available to major motion picture and television studios," Amazon notes.

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