In it’s quest to constantly grow and expand, Amazon has it’s eyes on a new rival: video sharing services, but namely, YouTube. No longer simply being content with Amazon Video and Amazon Instant Video for Prime members, Amazon has of today, begun offering a service called: Amazon Video Direct.
Amazon Video Direct will allow users to have their videos right up next to the professionally made TV shows and movies, and offers a revenue model differing from YouTube’s. Amazon has stated that videos will be viewable by all Amazon customers and will be available via an ad-supported format (where uploaders earn 55 percent of the revenue) or through renting and purchasing the user uploaded videos (uploaders earn 50 percent of revenue). Views by users with Prime accounts, while not yet being confirmed as Ad free (but likely to be), will generate uploaders $0.15 per hour viewed in the US, and $0.06 when viewed elsewhere. There is also a monthly bonus pool named “AVD Stars” where the top 100 videos will get a piece of one million dollars. Amazon has been very forthcoming with these revenue share numbers, which is in stark contrast to YouTube, who tends to keep those hidden.
The list of supported countries so far includes: the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, German and Austria. One standout difference between Amazon Video Direct and YouTube is that Amazon Video Direct seems to be directed towards more professionally inclined uploaders. Uploaders have to register an account with a company name (normal Amazon accounts will not work), and are required to connect a bank account as well as submit tax information. Meanwhile, YouTube simply requires an email address to start uploading, only requiring more when you partner with YouTube for Ad revenue.
Amazon Video Direct also has a lineup of content creators ready to go, including notable names such as: Machinima, HowStuffWorks, StyleHaul and Mashable. Amazon has stated that all Amazon Video Direct content will appear on all Prime Video supported devices, such as: Fire TV, IOS, Android, Video Game Consoles, Smart TVs, and computers.
It is a bold step for Amazon, and it will be interesting to see how this pans out. YouTube is so ingrained in today’s society that another video sharing service has an uphill battle, especially one with so many hoops to jump through to upload video.