Youtube's Newest Competitor: Amazon Video Direct
On May 10, Amazon made a surprise announcement of their newest addition to their heaping mass of offered services: Amazon Video Direct [AVD]. AVD is an online video platform, much like Youtube and Vimeo. It is available as a part of the paid Prime subscription ad-free, an add-on subscription package, or free to use via Amazon, but with advertising.
The self-service program is a new competitor to the professional side of Youtube, Youtube Red, that will give content creators, and others, yet another platform to display their content. Though it does appeal to the professional side of youtube, anyone can make an account and upload content.
“It doesn’t sound like a bad idea, but it sounds like it may hurt Youtube a lot since they just came out with youtube red. I think it’s going to be a lot more successful than [Youtube red],” Rebecca Bailey ‘16 said.
Under AVD, content creators can choose how they would like to be paid; they can receive either 55% of revenues from rentals or sales of videos, or $0.15 per hour streamed, with a cap of $75,000 a year. There is also the opportunity to sell videos as an add-on subscription to Prime Video through the Streaming Partners Program, or to have them stream to any Amazon customer with ads, in which case the creator gets a 55% share of ad revenues.
“If you have to pay for it in order to see something, like Youtube red, it won’t be as successful than if… you could see it for free and just deal with the ads and everything,” Bailey said.
AVD is not too much more financially appealing than Youtube’s own payments for creators, but it is giving content creators a lot more flexibility and empowerment to choose how and where their content is available and how their content is monetized.
Initial partners already include Conde Nast, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Machinima, StyleHaul The Guardian, Mashable, Mattel, Kin Community, Jash, Business Insider, TYT Network, Baby Einstein, CJ Entertainment America, Xivetv, Synergetic Distribution, Kino Nation, Journeyman Pictures, and Pro Guitar Lessons.