Amazon is launching its new Amazon Video Direct service today to let video creators share any content and receive a cut of the revenue. Amazon is offering a variety of ways for creators to earn money, including royalties through streaming by Prime members, and revenue sharing through rentals, purchases, subscriptions, and ad impressions. Amazon appears to be moving towards a more user-generated model, and Amazon members will be able to stream certain videos free of charge as a result.
It's clear Amazon is targeting YouTube's partner efforts with Video Direct, and the company is also planning to offer a share of $1,000,000 per month as a bonus to the top 100 titles on Amazon Video Direct. Creators will need to opt-in to share their content with Prime subscribers, and Amazon is labeling the scheme "Amazon Video Direct Star." Any content on Amazon Video will be accessible through TV apps, mobile devices, Amazon's range of Fire TV sticks and tablets, and online streaming. Amazon's variety of video-on-demand offerings also place it to compete with the service Vimeo is currently building.
Amazon has a variety of launch partners, including How Stuff Works, Mattel, The Guardian, and independent titles from Samuel Goldwyn Films. While Amazon has broad ambitions for its new Video Direct service, Amazon Video is still limited by its availability worldwide and how exactly it expands partners in the future. Amazon Video is still only available in the US, Germany, Austria, UK, and Japan. Just like YouTube Gaming was a first step in competing against Amazon-owned Twitch, Amazon's Video Direct will have to expand a lot more aggressively if it wants to take eyeballs away from YouTube.