Amazon is on a roll. Weeks after introducing monthly Prime memberships, today they launched a new video-sharing service, akin to YouTube, that allows users to upload videos and earn revenue depending on how the video performs. The new service is called Amazon Video Direct.
After uploading a video, a creator can choose how people view it, and thus how royalties are earned. Videos can be made free for all (requiring viewers to sit through ads, like on YouTube), or made available for rent or purchase. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, videos made available for rent or purchase are covered with your monthly or annual fee. And the videos can be watched with any Amazon Video supported device — Fire TV, Smart TV, Xbox One, PS4, browser or smartphone. Also, to add a little extra, Amazon claims it will dish out a total of $1 million of rewards each month to “Amazon Video Direct Stars” — people whose videos have generated the highest consumer engagement.
The launch of Amazon’s new service is a direct attack on YouTube, but that doesn’t mean they expect to overthrow it. (YouTube has been in this business for over 11 years now, and has over a billion users.) It’s more of a grab to get more Prime subscribers.
Today, Amazon makes their own consumer devices (like the Tap and Echo Dot), has their own cloud storage service, and is a big player in the video-streaming game, like Netflix, having produced their own award-winning series (Transparent) and projects with big names like Woody Allen. Now, the next big name could be you.