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Amazon to rival YouTube with Video Direct platform

Tue 10 May 2016

Amazon Video

Amazon has announced the launch of a new YouTube-style service which will allow account holders from around the world to upload their own video content.

The Amazon Video Direct platform will offer independent providers the option to either deliver videos for free (taking revenue from ads), for rental or purchase, or as part of add-on channel subscriptions or Amazon Prime packages.

The service, like other video sites, will allow creators to access metrics on their videos’ performance, including how long a viewer has spent streaming the content, projected revenue, and number of subscribers.

Commenting on the product launch, Amazon Video vice-president Jim Freeman said: “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.”

For now, the service can be viewed by Prime customers in the U.S., the UK, Germany, Austria and Japan, with more regions to follow. The videos can be played across any Amazon Video-compatible device, including smartphones, tablets, desktops, games consoles, and connected TVs.

Publishing and media partners already involved in the initiative include Condé Nast Entertainment, Mashable, toy maker Mattel and Business Insider.

Video Direct will bring the Seattle-based e-retailer into a fiercer competition with Google in online video service, following its 2014 acquisition of video game streaming site Twitch in 2014.

This competition also comes alongside the two giants’ fight for premium video glory. Competing head to head against internet TV sensation Netflix, Amazon has invested heavily in its Prime Video service. However, Google is hot on its heels, announcing last year the launch of its ad-free subscription video platform, YouTube Red.

Earlier this month it was too revealed that Google is discussing offering channel packages including video and live TV content for less than $35 a month (approx. £24).


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