Amazon launches its own video sharing service – but what can you do with it?

Amazon’s launched its own video platform – and it already looks set to be a major rival to YouTube. So is it worth trying? We explore…

20 May 2016


With Amazon Video Direct you can watch videos, upload your own and buy or rent your favourites to view ad-free. And if you’re a keen vlogger or filmmaker, there’s also the chance to make some money from it too.

Amazon video

Credit: Press Association

What is Amazon Video Direct?

Amazon’s video sharing platform is open to anyone with an account, including the tens of millions of Prime members.

It works like YouTube in that you can upload videos or watch films made by other people – whether that’s a vlogger, filmmaker or a big company.

The videos are available as part of Amazon’s Prime Video service, which includes thousands of movies and TV episodes, including Original series like Man in the High Castle and Hand of God. You can also subscribe to networks like Showtime and Stars as an add-on to your membership.


What makes it different?

On first glance, it’s tricky to tell if this this any different from the other major video sharing platforms out there – but Amazon has promised some extra features to give you a better experience. With it you can:

  • Find out how well your videos are performing with advanced metrics like minutes streamed, number of subscribers, projected revenue, payment history – then use this info to drive even more views
  • More ways to earn – get royalties based on total hours streamed and ad impressions, or make your videos available to rent or buy
  • Have the chance to win a share of $1,000,000 every month – Amazon is offering a ‘bonus’ to the Top 100 videos based on views and money earned

A lot of companies have already signed up, including Conde Nast, HowStuffWorks, The Guardian, Mashable and Mattel. The next step is to see if any big name vloggers will make the jump to Amazon Video Direct.


How do watch and upload my videos?

You can rent and buy content, or watch it for free with ads. If you’re an Amazon Prime member you’ll get ad-free videos as part of your subscription.

Budding filmmaker or vlogger? There are several ways to share your content with Amazon’s huge audience:

  • Make it available to all Amazon members – although they’ll have to watch with ads
  • Ad-free but only for people with Prime subscription
  • As a one-off rental or available to purchase
  • Or create a new subscription channel through Amazon’s Streaming Partners Program

Right now Amazon Direct Video is available in the UK, US, Germany, Austria and Japan. You can watch it through the Amazon Video app on most Smart TVs, through an Amazon Fire TV stick, on your smartphone or Fire tablet and online.

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