Look out, YouTube: Amazon Video Direct is Here

By Shazeb Nayani | @shazebnayani  

Amazon’s new video service, Amazon Video Direct (AVD), allows users to post videos and earn royalties for them, making them the biggest online retailer in direct competition with YouTube. There are a few options for creators as far as uploading content: “make it available to Prime video subscribers and receive a per-hour royalty fee, sell as an add-on subscription through the Streaming Partners Program, offer for digital rental or purchase, or make available to all Amazon customers for free with ads and receive a 55% share of the ad revenue.” This variety of options is ideal for creators who want to try out different forms of compensation for their content and see what works best for them.

Creators will also control where their videos are streamed. At the moment, this includes the U.S., Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Creators will also be able to see metrics as to how their videos are performing. These metrics include tracking of the number of minutes a title was streamed, payment history, number of subscribers, and projected revenue. Creators can then make changes based on their metrics. One reason Amazon may be doing this is because interest in consuming TV shows online has dropped slightly in 2016, while amateur online-video viewership has remained flat. The only segment that's growing is original digital video.

The online platform will focus on attracting pro and semi-pro video creators, including digital media stars with a large following who will bring viewers to their platform. This new avenue is exciting for creators because it allows them to experiment in a new environment with the promise of a payout. An added bonus of Amazon is that creators can sell products other than the video itself on the same site. This gives digital media stars the upper hand, who are often pushing a product. The online retailer is off to a great start: Gaming-centric shop Machinima,  fashion-centric outfit StyleHaul, Condo Nast and The Guardian have all signed as partners and will upload video content to the platform. These major content creators will likely drive legions of followers to Amazon Video Direct.  

According to International Business Times:

“Sports-centric digital network Whistle Sports has been putting some of its content on the Amazon Shorts video section, and for Executive Vice-President Brian Selander, continuing to add more to Video Direct isn’t a bad idea. ‘Millennial fans want to be able to engage in unique sports content on all the devices and all the places they’re spending their time,’ he says. ‘Amazon is becoming a larger percentage of that time, and seems fully committed to expanding their slice of that time.’”

It looks like Amazon is on the way to becoming a leader in sports content.  

Of course Amazon will benefit directly from Amazon Video Direct, which allows them to take advantage of new content to drive sales from their website. Small businesses can also “create marketing videos or clips that tell their story (or even just creative content) and then drive viewers back to their retail page.” This is a great business move on Amazon’s part, as small businesses can take advantage of AVD viewers and convert them into customers. Additionally, bringing viewers to AVD will no doubt make sales on the site skyrocket.

Amazon Video Direct seems to have a bright future ahead of itself as more content creators will surely partner with them, and more viewers join the service. This is a promising platform for both creators and viewers alike.  

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