Amazon Launches YouTube Rival, Will Pay Content Creators

By Denisse Moreno
Denisse Moreno
Denisse Moreno
May 11, 2016 Updated: May 15, 2016

Amazon launched a self-publishing platform for video creators on May 10—going head-to-head with YouTube and Vimeo.

The company unveiled Amazon Video Direct (AVD), which shares money with content creators. Video storytellers can choose how to make revenue from their work either through ads, subscriptions, rentals, or by the number of hours streamed to subscribers of Amazon Prime, the company’s two-day shipping service. Amazon will keep 50 percent of the revenue made from the videos.

The company says video creators will have control on where their content is streamed. Creators will also be able to distribute their work to tens of millions of Prime customers, and will be able to have insight in performance metrics for their videos.

“It’s an amazing time to be a content creator,” said Jim Freeman, vice president of Amazon Video in a statement.

“There are more options for distribution than ever before and with AVD, 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,” added Freeman.

If the video is streamed only on the Prime service, it pays a fixed fee of 15 cents per each viewed hour in the United States, and six cents for other territories.

The company will allow video creators’ to share their titles throughout the United States, Germany, Austria, the U.K., and Japan, and on all supported devices including Fire TV, phones, tablets, game consoles, Smart TVs, and online.

AVD launch partners include: Conde Nast Entertainment, HowStuffWorks, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Baby Einstein and Pro Guitar Lessons. Content from the providers was available immediately after the launch.