Amazon wants you! Yes, if you create video content, maybe have a YouTube channel or you are thinking of starting one, or maybe you are an independent filmmaker who creates funny/engaging/meaningful videos who wants to monetise their content, then the new Video Direct service from Amazon may just be the thing for you. The biggest online shop that literally everything ever made is now setting its sights on taking on the most popular video platform in the world – Youtube. Amazon Video Direct is a new self-service program for creators and storytellers to make their video content available to Amazon customers, including tens of millions of Amazon Prime members.
Amazon Video is the only streaming service to offer customers unlimited access to tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, including award-winning Amazon Original Series, through Prime Video; monthly subscriptions to SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more; and hundreds of thousands of titles including new-release movies and current TV shows for rent or purchase.
With Amazon Video Direct (AVD), video content creators have a total of 4 flexible options to distribute/monetize their content:
- Make their conent available for Prime Video users for a royalty fee based on watch-time, thus reaching tens of millions of Prime members
- Add-on subscription through the Amazon Streaming Partners Program
- Offered as a one-time rental price or a one-time purchase price
- Go Youtube-style with Amazon customers for an ad-supported model which lets creators keep a 55% cut of the revenue (same split as YouTube)
Here is a list of benefits that Amazon Video Direct offers creators:
- Access to Amazon’s most engaged streaming audience – distribute you content directly to tens of millions of Prime members and earn royalties based on minutes streamed
- Choice of how to share titles – you can utilize the different options Amazon Video uses to share content to customers
- Expanded customer reach – video providers can choose to make their titles available in any country where Amazon Video is available—the United States, Germany, Austria, United Kingdom and Japan; with support for all the devices Amazon Video is available on—Fire TV, Fire and other iOS and Android tablets, connected TVs, game consoles, iOS and Android phones, and laptops
- Insightful performance metrics – video providers are given performance metrics, such as number of minutes a title was streamed, projected revenue, payment history, or number of subscribers, so they can optimize the way they offer and promote content to customers; video providers have full control and the flexibility to make changes based on these metrics
“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.”
Also launching today is the AVD Stars program, which gives video creators “a share of 1 million dollars per month based on customer engagement with their title.”
In a nutshell, AVD Stars is Amazon’s way of giving top creators an incentives to distribute their content via the AVD platform by giving creators a monthly bonus from the one million dollar monthly fund, based on the Top 100 AVD titles in Prime Video, in addition to any other revenue earned. Video creators and providers who use AVD to make their titles available in Prime Video will automatically be enrolled. The AVD Stars program launches today and the one million dollar monthly fund will make its first bonus distributions based on streaming activity from June 1st to June 30th.
AVD launch partners include heavy hitters such as Machinima, Conde Nast Entertainment, HowStuffWorks, Samuel Goldwyn Films, The Guardian, Mashable, Mattel, StyleHaul, Kin Community, Jash, Business Insider, TYT Network, Baby Einstein, CJ Entertainment America, Xive TV, Synergetic Distribution, Kino Nation, Journeyman Pictures, and Pro Guitar Lessons.
Amazon currently battles Netflix, Hulu and other major online networks via their Amazon Prime Video platform with in the original series arena, but third party video content is another ball game, one the YouTube has been mastering for the good part of the last decade. Also, more niche players like Vimeo cater to independent filmmakers by offering their platform for online distribution as well.
It would be definitely interesting to see how AVD will take off and if it really has the potential to rival YouTube. In the beginning I expect to see more upscale and pro content judging from the big name creators who’ve already signed up.
Amazon Video Direct is currently available only in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria and Japan, with more countries to launch in the near future.
To learn more about Amazon Video Direct and sign-up for free visit http://videodirect.amazon.com.
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