While it becomes almost redundant at some point to keep mentioning this, it seems at least conceivably possible that by the end of the year there will literally be no type of business up for grabs in the digital economy that Amazon is not trying its hand at in some fashion.
The latest addition to the ever-expanding Amazon sphere of influence — that includes (as of May 10) eCommerce, Grocery Delivery, video streaming, Web services, and Internet of Things integration, just to name a quick few — will be Amazon Video Direct.
The site is very much Amazon's answer to YouTube — a home for video content creators to upload their digital creations for public consumption, viewable by all Amazon customers via an ad-supported platform for Amazon Prime Video customers (perhaps without ads) or available as a one-time rental or purchase. The service is launching in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria and Japan.
The YouTube comparison, since it is an ad-supported video platform, are likely apt, but a bit misleading, since Amazon's launch seems more aimed at AV professionals than cat videographers. Accounts must be created with a company name, and both a bank account and tax information are part and parcel to the deal.
Because — perhaps the most distinguishing part of the Amazon platform — the space seems to be designed as a place for content creators to get paid for their work, as opposed to YouTube, where it is mostly about audience access. Amazon advertises that Video Direct content makers will receive 50 percent net revenue for paid or rental purchases, while Prime viewers net content creators $.15 per hour of content they watch (in the U.S.; out of nation that payment falls to $.06 per hour).
Amazon is also launching the "AVD Stars" program, with a bonus pool of a million dollars distributed every month to the Top 100 videos.