When logging into Amazon, you might have to double-take to check which website you’re on. No, you’re not going mad and you haven’t stumbled into the realm of YouTube. Although, it’s understandable if you were temporarily taken aback. The Wall Street Journal shared the announcement of the new service which has been designed to supports ads: “Amazon account holders can upload original or their own licensed videos to the Video Direct service, the Seattle-based online retailer said. Such users can designate whether their videos are free to everyone, available to rent or own, offered through a subscription channel, or behind Amazon’s $99-a-year Prime paywall.” So, viewers can either purchase to watch or stream free content that is commercially supported with ads.
Amazon attracts an ample audience of 95 million unique visitors. Companies can advertise products online from $39.99 a month, with additional selling fees on top. For marketers – this is a good move to increase awareness of a brand on a global scale. It is also a step in the direction to rival Google’s own YouTube. From your professional Amazon account, you can upload videos to the website and utilise the advertising potential, including a profit on the video’s royalties. In a similar way to the Amazon original series, the Amazon Video Direct service lets you post original or licenced videos. Bloomberg.com reiterates on how businesses are targeted for taking advantage of this facility to reap its rewards: “the Seattle-based e-commerce giant said the service is designed for “professional video producers,” but its only requirements are that the videos be high definition and have closed-captioning for the hearing impaired.”
Amazon’s success has continued to soar. As of 2015, the amount of subscribers taking out an Amazon Prime membership increased by 35%. Furthermore, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners discovered that Amazon Prime now boasts 54 million US subscribers and 47% of all Amazon users have now registered with a paid for membership. Content from such companies as HowStuffWorks, Condé Nast Entertainment, Samuel Goldwyn Films, and Pro Guitar Lessons can be found on the site. Amazon is also working with publishers like The Guardian and digital sites such as StyleHaul and Mashable.
Add to this, the live-streaming services of Twitch will be implemented to give the option of live broadcasts, so that customers can communicate with businesses and broadcasters in real-time format. What’s more, Amazon has agreed to distribute $1,000,000 per month to the Top 100 performing Amazon Video Direct titles. The bonus is based on customer engagement to boost the revenue calculated from streaming (whether rented or purchased), and from ad impressions.
Not only has Amazon been squaring up to Netflix to beat their prices and offer a wide range of original and new content on a frequent basis – it is setting its sights on rivalling the YouTube model. While YouTube is still a recognised and prolific platform to upload and share videos – as well as screening music videos, TV series, and movies with ads – the Amazon Video Direct feature will take some time to reach the same status that YouTube has cultivated. What cannot be argued is the opportunity to reach a greater audience under a prime brand with a name in the lights!