Amazon takes on YouTube with similar video service
San Francisco (AFP) – Amazon challenged YouTube Tuesday by adding a platform to its video service that lets “storytellers and creators” share works online and generate revenue.
The US online retail titan unveiled Amazon Video Direct where, like at YouTube, people can upload videos for online viewing at an ad-supported venue.
The move came shortly after the Seattle-based firm made Amazon Prime Video available as its own subscription service, and ramps up the company’s challenge to Google-parent Alphabet.
Video creators have options such as offering works for rent, purchase, or on subscription channels, according to Amazon.
“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,” said Jim Freeman, Amazon’s vice president of video.
“We’re excited to make it even easier for content creators to find an audience, and for that audience to find great content.”
Amazon also launched a Stars program that promised content creators a share in a million dollars each month based on how many works are viewed.
The list of Amazon Video Direct launch partners included Conde Nast Entertainment, Samuel Goldwyn Films, The Guardian, Mashable, Mattel, and Machinima.
“As a major, independently owned and operated motion-picture company, we’re excited to have the ability to distribute our films to Amazon customers around the globe,” said Peter Goldwyn, president of Samuel Goldwyn Films.
“With Amazon Video Direct, we have the control to create the unique distribution strategies that reflect the changing ways in which our audiences discover our films.”
Amazon boasted that Direct augments a video service that provides unlimited access to tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, including original productions.