Amazon today announced Amazon Video Direct, a competitor to the professional side of YouTube that will give those creators and others, and their advertisers, another place to display their material.
AVD seems to work in many-splintered ways. Videos can be shown free with ads or packaged as a subscription, or offered to rent or own outright. All this makes it clear that Amazon Video Direct was not designed with the casual, amateur YouTuber in mind.
Amazon said the new service would become a part of the Prime Video package that subscribers have already paid for; or available as an add-on subscription service. Or viewers can receive for free via Amazon, but with advertising.
For some YouTubers who struggle to monetize their uploads, the new service adds another advertising or subscription outlet. Amazon, like YouTube, will reportedly take 45% of the generated ad revenue and half of the rental or purchase fee.
YouTube has a decade-long head start, and Amazon does not have nearly the kind of worldwide video clout that YouTube does. The service, however, does give existing Prime customers a new programming source, and may serve as an inducement to convert Amazon tourists -- it has just allowed users to pay a monthly fee rather than the $99-a-year membership.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.