Amazon has spent the past few years emulating Netflix with its many streaming video offerings. Now with Amazon Video Direct (AVD), it's taking a cue from Vimeo and YouTube by making it easier than ever to get your videos streaming, and most importantly, get you paid.
You'll be able to upload your own videos and choose exactly how you want people to access them with AVD. You could, for example, make them available to all Amazon Prime viewers, or just go the typical video on demand rental and purchase route. Alternatively, you can also make it open to all Amazon members with ad support, or create a whole channel available via subscription through Amazon's Streaming Partners Program.
While Vimeo has carved a niche out for itself as a hub for independent video makers, Amazon has a major advantage in terms of reach and device support. The company also promises detailed metrics for seeing how your content is doing, including "minutes a title was streamed, projected revenue, payment history, or number of subscribers."
You'll get 50 percent of revenues from rentals and purchases, and 55 percent for ad revenue, Variety reports. Prime Video content will earn 15 cents per hour streamed in the U.S., and 6 cents every hour elsewhere (earnings are also capped at $75,000 per video). Amazon's launch partners for the new program include Conde Nast, Machinima and Samuel Goldwyn films.
To sweeten the pot, Amazon is also kicking off the AVD Stars program, which will give video makers a chance to make bonus revenue from a pot of a million dollars, based on how much people view their content. Yes, that's on top of the revenue the videos make on their own. Not surprisingly, Amazon is automatically enrolling creators who put their content on Prime Video. It's unclear what the signup process will be like if you choose to go the standard VOD route. For now, it seems like a smart way to tempt people into populating Prime Video with content.