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Amazon is launching a "self-service" program for video creators called Amazon Video Direct.
In a direct move against YouTube, the program will let creators earn money from royalties and advertising for videos they upload, based on minutes streamed. While Amazon told Bloomberg the platform was meant for "professional" creators, the only requirements are that a video be in HD format and include closed captioning.
This is similar to the process Amazon uses for Kindle Direct Publishing, which lets authors self-publish e-books directly to Amazon.
Video creators will be able to choose how their content is viewable on the service, allowing people to stream, download, rent, or buy their videos, depending on preference. If they would like to bundle multiple videos together or prefer to present their videos in a TV-like "season" format, selling as a subscription add-on is possible.
"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, vice president of Amazon Video, said in a statement.
Here is a full list of the ways creators can make their videos available using Amazon Video Direct:
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.
Another way Amazon will let creators make money with Amazon Video Direct, or AVD, will be through 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 that will work, according to Amazon:
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.
Amazon says content creators will get access to analytics including:
Number of minutes a title was streamed
Number of subscribers
Amazon has also partnered with publishers and news organizations to make their content available to watch on Amazon Video. 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.
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