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What is Amazon Video Direct? YouTube’s worst nightmare has arrived

Amazon is known for having its fingers in many pies, and now the company’s ever-groping fingers are stuffing YouTube’s pastry too. 

What is Amazon Video Direct?

Amazon has launched a video service that it hopes will take on longstanding rivals like YouTube and Vimeo. It’s called Amazon Video Direct, a brand new self-service video uploading platform available starting today.

The pull for content creators comes from the wide range of cash-generating options available. When you upload a video, you can choose to earn royalties based on any combination of the following:

  • Hours streamed
  • Rentals
  • Purchases
  • Monthly Subscriptions
  • Ad Impressions

Creators will be able to choose whether their videos are free for everyone to watch, available to rent or buy, or locked behind the Amazon Prime paywall.


In a statement, Jim Freeman, VP of Amazon Video, said:

“It’s an amazing time to be a content creator. 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.”

Video providers will also be able to check out performance metrics like number of minutes streamed, project revenue, payment history, and subscriber count. Amazon says that AVD launch partners include The Guardian, Conde Nast Entertainment, Mashable, Mattel, Business Insider, and Machinima.

Amazon Video Direct will be available through the standard Amazon Video app on mobile devices and set-top boxes, and on Amazon’s desktop website.

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