Amazon’s Prime Video has emerged as a challenger to Netflix, but a new initiative puts YouTube squarely in the company’s sights.
Amazon this morning announced a new service called Amazon Video Direct, a self-service option that lets content creators upload video for distribution through Amazon Prime Video or other methods, including ad-supported video, rental, purchase or subscription.
“It’s an amazing time to be a content creator,” said Jim Freeman, Vice President of Amazon Video, in a news release announcing the service. “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.”
It’s similar to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program for e-books. Amazon says anyone with a valid Amazon account in the U.S., Germany, U.K. or Japan can sign up for a self-publishing account to upload videos to Amazon Video Direct.
The program offers royalties to content providers based on hours viewed or a share of revenue, depending on the method of distribution. In addition, the company launched a program called AVD Stars, which splits a $1 million monthly pool with video creators depending on engagement with their content.
Amazon announced this list of initial content providers: Conde Nast Entertainment, HowStuffWorks, Samuel Goldwyn Films, The Guardian, Mashable, Mattel, StyleHaul, Kin Community, Jash, Business Insider, Machinima, TYT Network, Baby Einstein, CJ Entertainment America, Xive TV, Synergetic Distribution, Kino Nation, Journeyman Pictures, and Pro Guitar Lessons.