Amazon Launches Amazon Video Direct to Compete with Google and YouTube

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By Vlad Vidaeff

Content creation is becoming an increasingly important part of a marketer’s toolkit.  Rather than simply sharing content, marketers are now expected to create visually appealing photos and videos on social media.  User-generated content, live streaming, and streaming services are popular with YouTube, Periscope, Facebook Live, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Vimeo being some of the major players.  This blog will discuss Amazon’s announcement to launch the company into the user-generated video market.

Amazon has a major presence in the digital video space with the popularity of Amazon Prime which competes with Netflix.  The giant has made an emphasis of developing original content with television shows such as Transparent receiving critical acclaim.  The introduction of Amazon Video Direct (AVD) will be an addition to Amazon Prime.  AVD allows content creators and visual storytellers to reach millions of existing Amazon Video customers.  The payment structure for user-generated content is flexible and includes options such as earning royalties based on hours streamed or a revenue share for rentals, monthly subscriptions, purchases, or ad impressions.  Based on the nature of your content, a specific payment plan may be most attractive for your company.  The cost of joining is relatively low, with standalone Amazon Prime subscriptions currently costing $8.99 a month.

Unlike YouTube, which mostly attracts small-time and aspiring video producers, AVD is targeted to larger-scale video providers.  These providers will be likely to join due to Amazon’s large audience.  On the downside, Amazon Video is only available in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, and Japan.  South America, Australia, and Africa are entirely left out; really, a good portion of the world does not have access.  Other streaming services, such as Netflix, have a much more robust international reach.  Notwithstanding these limitations, some of the companies that have already joined include Mattel, Mashable, and the Guardian.  In deciding which payment structure to pursue and the frequency of content creation, Amazon offers performance metrics such as minutes streamed, projected revenue, number of subscribers, and payment history.  Access to valuable analytics will aid companies in making calculated decisions through data-driven marketing.

Amazon Video vice president Jim Freeman stated: “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.”  This quote from Amazon’s leadership really puts into perspective the appeal and potential of AVD.  The modern Internet today, more specifically entertainment in general, offers so many choices that keeping a consumer’s attention span is becoming increasingly difficult.  Some companies have been able to acquire a loyal consumer base including Amazon.  By piggybacking on Amazon’s established base, video providers gain access to a valuable segment to promote their work.  Amazon’s dedication to digital entertainment is no surprise and we can expect even more activity in the arena in the future.



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