YouTube’s Next Biggest Competitor Is… Amazon?!

12 May 2016, 13:47 | Updated: 17 July 2017, 12:16

We the Unicorns

By Liam Dryden

"Amazon Video Direct" offers creators the chance to earn more by hosting their videos with them - but is it enough to rival YouTube?

Just weeks after Fullscreen finally launched their premium video content service, another potential competitor for YouTube has just shown up - and this one is a lot bigger.

Online shopping giant Amazon has had a lot of success with their Prime-funded "Amazon Video" service. Now, they're taking steps to attract creators to their new platform. Amazon Video Direct (which is currently winning the "least catchy name for a video service" race) will allow its users to host videos, which will sit alongside Amazon Video's wide range of content - including popular TV shows, movies, and original series.

amazon video direct

We know what you're thinking: "big deal, there are already so many other options, this one won't be any different, etc." But what Amazon is doing a little differently, especially to alternatives such as Facebook Video, Fullscreen and even YouTube Red, is in its proposed payment system.

Amazon Video Direct will offer a different range of options for how creators want consumers to view their videos - they could be sold, rented, watched without ads on Amazon Prime, or with ads for free.

With the ad option, Amazon will give creators a share of the ad revenue, much in the same way that YouTube does. However, their value is measured in Per Hours Viewed - and they are offering up to $0.15 for every hour a piece of content is watched. It doesn't seem like much, given that YouTube reportedly offers $2 for every thousand views a video gets. But given that Amazon's end goal is likely to encourage users to sign up for services like Prime, their ad-based content is probably less of a priority.

But will it succeed without major creators being attached? Time will tell, but Amazon may want to offer something more to entice big-name YouTubers, much in the same way rival services like Fullscreen and YouTube Red have done before it...