User generated videos must be a really big business because another huge onlineÂ player just jumped into the arena with YouTube and Facebook. Yesterday Amazon announced the launch of its new video posting service, called Amazon Video Direct, in theÂ United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria andÂ Japan.
The 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, but curiously, no record labels.
Amazon has also announced how it will pay everyone, as well as how they will take down videos if copyright infringement occurs.
Amazon Video Direct (AVD) gives partnersÂ four options when uploadingÂ their content:
- Include the work in Prime Video, which is available to tens of millions of users of the premium subscription tier
- Make it available as an add-on subscription through itsÂ Streaming Partners Program
- Offer it as a one-time rental or a one-time purchase
- Make it available to all Amazon customers, which isÂ ad-supported like YouTube
According to Variety, the Prime Video option pays video owners a 15 cents per-hour royalty fee in the US andÂ 6 cents per-hour in other territories, but thatÂ appears to cap atÂ $75,000 per year. On top of that,Â Amazon will also pay partners a 50% royalty of the retail price fromÂ one-off purchases and rentals.Â As withÂ YouTube, Amazon will pay the partnerÂ 55% from anyÂ ad revenue received.
Amazon will also distribute $1 million a month to the makers of the 100 most popular programs viewed by Prime members each month.
Amazon Video Direct could be a game changer for content creators in that it’s now possible to get paid a reasonable amount for your content. That said, even though Amazon Prime has tens of million of subscribers (the exact number is unknown but may reach as high as 90 million), it’s still hard to compete with free, which is what YouTube still provides.