Amazon launches Video Direct - a potential rival for YouTube


Amazon has launched a new video service that will basically let people create and upload films and make money from them - a business model that is quite similar to YouTube.

Amazon Video Direct aims to help video creators rake in the cash by providing them with revenue options that include ads, purchases or monthly subscriptions and a cut from rentals and royalties based on hours streamed.

Video makers will be able to decide whether or not their clips are uploaded as part of Amazon's Prime service. While viewers can rent and buy content or watch it for free with adverts, Amazon Prime members have an ad-free option.

Amazon is taking on YouTube with rival video platform.
Amazon is taking on YouTube with rival video platform (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

In addition to the money earned through the selected sources, the company says has it set aside a $1 million (£691,000) bonus to be distributed amongst creators whose titles make it to the monthly top 100.

Several production companies have already made their videos available including Baby Einstein, Mattel, StyleHaul, Pro Guitar Lessons and Conde Nast.

The service allows creators to publish videos in the US, Germany, Austria, Japan and the UK.

"It's an amazing time to be a content creator," said Jim Freeman, vice president of Amazon Video.

Amazon Video Direct added a new photo. - Amazon Video Direct | Facebook

"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."

Amazon already offers access to TV shows and films through Prime Video, which is a rival to Netflix, and streams user-generated content about video games via Twitch.

But will it be able to take on YouTube - the world's biggest UGC video site - which has an established community of online celebrities? We'll have to wait and see.