- Watch out YouTube, Amazon is gunning for video talent with its new Amazon Video Direct.
- Amazon Video Direct is designed to be a program for professional video creators who will be able to earn royalties and advertising revenue on uploaded videos based on how long those videos are streamed. These videos have to be in HD and include closed captioning.
- According to Reuters, the videos will be available for rent or to own, offered free along with ads, or packaged as an add-on for Prime Video subscribers.
Right now, Amazon already offers its Prime program, which includes a streaming video service. That streaming video service includes original content for $99 a year, compared to YouTube’s free ad-supported – and very entrenched online video ecosystem. YouTube also offers a $10 per month subscription option called YouTube Red. The major difference is Amazon Prime has 50 million users and YouTube Red boasts around two billion.
"For the first time, there's a self-service option for video providers to get their content into a premium streaming subscription service," Jim Freeman, vice president of Amazon Video, said in a statement. Through Amazon Direct Video, content creators will get 50% of the revenue from rentals or sales of the videos, and for the ad-supported videos, they'll get half the net ad receipts, Reuters explains.
Amazon will also likely be able offer very granular targeting of viewers given how much consumer data it has been collecting for years as the leader in e-commerce. For its part, YouTube is offering marketers a new ad unit called Breakout Videos that allows brands to take advantage of emerging video content as it becomes viral, according to Ad Age.
Amazon’s program is just launching, but it indicates just how valuable tech companies like Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter, see the online video space. And each company is looking to unseat YouTube as the go-to location for online video.