Amazon is about to take on YouTube with a new video portal

Amazon Video Direct

Amazon is preparing to launch a YouTube competitor called Amazon Video Direct (AVD). The platform will be a “self-service” program aimed at attracting video creators.

The program will let creators earn money from royalties and advertising for videos they upload, based on minutes streamed.

Amazon told Bloomberg the platform is meant for “professional” creators. At this time, the only requirements are having a video be in HD format, and including closed captioning.

After uploading videos, creators can choose how content is viewable on the service. They can choose the options to allow people to stream, download, rent, or buy their videos.

The Amazon video service will also give the option to show videos in a “season” format with a possible subscription add-on.

“For the first time, there’s a self-service option for video providers to get their content into a premium streaming subscription service,” Jim Freeman, VP of Amazon Video, said in a statement.

Here are all the ways video creators can share their content.

  • Included in Prime Video at no additional charge to tens of millions of Prime members.
  • Available as an add-on subscription through the Streaming Partners Program.
  • Offered as a one-time rental price or a one-time purchase price.
  • Available to all Amazon customers ad-supported.

Amazon is also launching the “AVD Stars program,” which will give creators “a share of one million dollars per month based on customer engagement with their title.”

Here’s how the AVD Stars Program will work:

Amazon will distribute to creators a monthly bonus from the one million dollar monthly fund, based on the Top 100 AVD titles in Prime Video, in addition to any other revenue earned. Video creators and providers who use AVD to make their titles available in Prime Video will automatically be enrolled. The AVD Stars program launches today and the one million dollar monthly fund will make its first bonus distributions based on streaming activity from June 1st to June 30th.

According to Amazon there will also be analytics that provide the following valuable pieces of information:

  • Number of minutes a title was streamed
  • Projected revenue
  • Payment history
  • Number of subscribers

Amazon has already partnered with a group of publishers and news organizations to make their content available to watch on Amazon Video. Conde Nast Entertainment, HowStuffWorks, Samuel Goldwyn Films, The Guardian, Mashable, Mattel, StyleHaul, Kin Community, and others.