YouTube has been the king of online video for over a decade, and has grown from a place where anybody with a camcorder could put up videos of their cats to a place where dedicated content creators publish their work. Now, Amazon wants a piece of the online video market, and launched Amazon Direct Video on Tuesday to that effect.
The service is reported to be much like YouTube's, where content creators can upload their work and receive a share of the revenue earned by Amazon through ads or subscription. While YouTube's revenue model involves users either watching ads or paying a monthly $10 subscription for YouTube Red, Amazon's service will also allow users to rent and buy content, which can be done through Google's Play Movie service.
According to Amazon Video Direct's Royalty Information section, content creators on Amazon Direct Video will receive 50 percent of the revenue earned through rental or purchase. Content creators are also reportedly entitled to 55 percent of the revenue earned through advertisements.
Amazon Video Direct will also be available free of charge to Amazon Prime subscribers in the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Japan, in which case content creators will be paid based on the hours of content consumed. The rates start at $0.06 for content consumed outside the U.S. while each hour of content consumed in the country will yield $0.15.
While Amazon Video Direct may seem like a direct competitor of YouTube, it is different in one key way. While YouTube is all about getting everyday users to create content, Amazon's service seems to be aimed at professionals. Amazon Direct Video's landing page says the platform is all about "Helping content creators and visual storytellers reach millions of Amazon Video customers."
ArsTechnica reported that singing up to upload videos requires providing bank and tax-related information, adding that a regular Amazon account won't be enough to get started.
According to Amazon, AVD launch partners include 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.