Amazon Hits Artist-Unfriendly YouTube Where It Hurts

Move Over YouTube, Amazon Video Direct Is Here
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What’s one way to change YouTube’s f-you attitude? Competition.

As the music industry prepares for war against YouTube, another giant is sensing opportunity.  Amazon has now launched a YouTube-like video platform that allows content creators to earn revenue through advertising and royalties on uploaded videos, with far greater control and collaboration.  Which might be exactly the kind of approach the music industry prefers, and ultimately supports.

YouTube is notorious for setting terms and telling creators to like it (and then telling them to love themselves).  In complete contrast, Amazon is extending a far more collaborative proposition.  On Amazon Video Direct, content creators will have the option of determining how their videos are used.  Specific preferences determine whether the user can stream the video, buy the video, download it, or even rent it.  There’s even the option to bundle videos together in a TV-season-like format.

Amazon says that their Video Direct service is dramatically different from YouTube, as it’s not only more flexible, but is has wide reach and is available on innumerable supported devices—Fire TV, phones, tablets, game consoles, Smart TVs, as well as the web.

On top of this, Amazon also offers optimization of its service for its users by providing performance metrics.  That includes the number of minutes the video has been streamed, number of subscribers, projected revenue, payment history, and options for how to optimize the way titles are offered and promoted.

So how do creators make their videos available on AVD?

Creators can include their video in Prime Video, through the Streaming Partners Program as an add-on subscription, as a one-time rental or a one-time purchase, or if you’re an Amazon customer.  In a statement, Jim Freeman, Vice President of Amazon Video, said..

“For the first time, there’s a self-service option for video providers to get their content into a premium streaming subscription service.”

As solid as this service may be, Amazon has a long way to go to successfully compete with YouTube, which has over 1 billion active users worldwide and is still the dominant player for video content.  But maybe the industry, which is growing increasingly frustrated with YouTube’s ability to dictate terms, will migrate to a friendlier Amazon.