Amazon takes on YouTube with mega video emporium for creators

11 May 2016

Amazon is aiming to outflank YouTube and Facebook and be the go-to location for video creators to sell their wares

Amazon, having conquered the cloud, is now on a mission to be the go-to destination for any kind of video content and, with the launch of Amazon Video Direct, plans to take on the might of YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo.

There are going to be four different distribution options for creators on Amazon Direct Video: a per-hour royalty fee, add-on subscriptions through a Streaming Partners Programme, digital rental or purchase, or free-with-ads where creators receive 55pc of the ad revenue.

It is understood that Amazon will pay partners 50pc of the retail price for digital purchases, rentals and subscription fees.

‘It’s an amazing time to be a content creator. There are more options for distribution than ever before’

If they go with the Amazon Prime Video distribution option, creators will earn royalties of 15 cents per hour streamed in the US and 6 cents elsewhere, capped at $75,000 per year.

Video partners at launch include The Guardian, Conde Nast Entertainment, HowStuffWorks, Mashable, Business Insider, Machinima, Journeyman Pictures and Pro Guitar Lessons, to name a few.

Amazon payment options for video creators

The e-commerce and cloud giant also launched the AVD Stars programme, which is a bonus pool of $1m per month to reward top-performing video creators.

It will also provide a monthly bonus from the $1m fund based on the top 100 Amazon Video Direct titles in Prime Video, starting 1 June.

“It’s an amazing time to be a content creator,” said Jim Freeman, vice-president of Amazon Video.

“There are more options for distribution than ever before and with Amazon Video Direct, for the first time, there’s a self-service option for video providers to get their content into a premium streaming subscription service.

“We’re excited to make it even easier for content creators to find an audience, and for that audience to find great content,” Freeman said.

Video creator image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years