Amazon is taking on Google’s YouTube with its own “self-service” online video platform for content creators. Amazon Video Direct will enable publishers, brands and other users to upload clips on the platform and earn money via purchases, rentals, subscriptions and advertising.
Amazon said that the service was targeted towards “professional” creators, but it appears that general users will be able to post bespoke clips as long as they are in HD and include closed captioning. It will be a similar process to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, which lets writers publish their own material directly on Amazon.
Content creators will decide how their videos will be viewed on the service. They can either be made available for free to Prime members, available with ads to all Amazon customers, offered as a one-time purchase or rental price or featured as an add-on subscription as part of the Streaming Partners programme. The final option will allow users to present their videos in a “season” format like on TV and Amazon’s Instant Video.
“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,” Vice President of Amazon Video, Jim Freeman, said. “We’re excited to make it even easier for content creators to find an audience, and for that audience to find great content.”
AVD Stars programme
Amazon will also let publishers earn money through its AVD Stars programme, which will be based on customer engagement. Amazon says that it will distribute shares totalling $1 million (£690,000) each month based on the leading 100 AVD titles in Prime Video, beginning in June. Content creators will also be able to access analytics and important metrics such as number of subscribers, projected revenue, number of minutes streamed for a title and payment history.
Amazon Video Direct will launch with content from some of the biggest news organisations and publishers, including The Guardian, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Mashable, HowStuffWorks, Business Insider and CJ Entertainment America. The service will initially launch in the UK, US, Germany, Austria and Japan.