Amazon takes on YouTube with new self-service video platform


Amazon has launched its new Amazon Video Direct service which allows content creators to directly upload videos to Amazon’s video platform. Content creators can choose to monetize their videos in several ways, including a revenue sharing model that pays creators based on minutes viewed if they make their content available for free to Amazon Prime subscribers. Content publishers can also choose to be compensated through more traditional means by setting a rental, purchase, or subscription price, as well as a free-with-ads option. Videos will be available, alongside traditional content, on all Amazon Video supported platforms, including the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.

It’s clear Amazon is positioning themselves to challenge YouTube with this new platform. The revenue sharing option in Amazon Video Direct, which pays content creators by the number of minutes their content was viewed, is nearly identical to YouTube Red. Amazon has gone a step further by creating a bonus incentive they’re calling “Amazon Video Direct Star,” where the top 100 titles each month will receive their share of a $1,000,000 bonus paid directly by Amazon.

Amazon has already lined up several launch partners for the new service, which include How Stuff Works, Mattel, Conde Nast Entertainment, and The Guardian. Several of the recent Prime add-on subscription options that have appeared, like Xive TV, are a result of this new self-service video platform.


  1. Christopher Loughrey says:

    Nobody will ever be able to compete with Youtube, or google in general for that matter.

    • Vulcan195 says:

      Wait and see. Amazon is going to make YouTube squirm. A lot of YouTube fans are unhappy with the no-skip extended ads. A lot of YouTube content creators are upset about their own cover songs being slapped with infringement. Amazon will cause a lot of headache for Google.

    • Jerry says:

      Just like no one expected anyone to take over “Yahoo” as the leading search engine or countless other examples of companies that seemed too successful in their field to fail/be overtaken.

  2. Fjtorres says:

    AVD isn’t for cute kitty cellphone videos–YouTube will keep those– is for commercial videos, Indie and otherwise.
    It is simply the video equivalent of KDP, ACX, and Android Underground.

    The question for creators is how they will distribute their videos: for ad-supported, by subscription, or for discrete sales or rental. AVD supports them all.

    YouTube will no doubt dominate the free and ad-supported business. But sales, per-view rentals, and subscription of Indie content?

    That is now up for grabs.

    Big question is: how does iTunes respond, if at all.

    • Jerry says:

      I think Vimeo is doing a pretty good job of that now no? A lot of film makers seem to use that service and personally I am impressed by their site and the content available there.
      They are even creating their own content now (Vimeo released “Wizard Mode” at Hot Docs and it is now available on their service to rent or buy)

  3. Joe says:

    No cute kitty videos then no deal :D

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