YouTube has been the leader in user-generated video for years and years now. It's a big business for YouTube and Google, and it's only getting bigger. YouTube has actually made quite a few stars, and 'YouTubers' can make nice chunk of cash. In fact, there are some that do YouTube videos as their full-time job - not many, but there are a few. This is because YouTube shares some of their ad earnings with creators. Facebook is supposedly going to do the same thing with their video service, and now Amazon is sharing ad revenue with creators too. This is bringing quite a bit of competition to the market, and that's not a bad thing.
On Tuesday, Amazon introduced Amazon Video Direct. This allows creators to upload their own video to Amazon, where others can watch their videos. Creators will also be getting a cut of the revenue here. Amazon has a whole slew of ways that you can earn money, which include streaming by Prime members, revenue sharing through rentals, subscriptions, purchases, ad impressions and even royalties. This shows that Amazon is perhaps looking to move toward user-generated content instead of content you'd find on TV networks - which is how Amazon Instant Video works right now.
All of the content available through Amazon Video Direct will also be available on their mobile apps, TV apps, Amazon.com, and of course their Fire TV range of set-top boxes and HDMI sticks. Creators will get to choose what content is shared with Prime members for free, otherwise it'll be similar to Amazon Instant Video now, and you'll have to pay extra for certain content. Amazon isn't just throwing their hat into the ring here, to compete with YouTube. They have a whole slew of partners that they are launching this service with. This includes Mattel, The Guardian, How Stuff Works, Pro Guitar Lessons, Mashable, Kin Community and even some independent titles from Samuel Goldwyn Films. However, if this is going to work for Amazon, they are going to need to make video more widely available. Right now Amazon Video is only available in five countries, and that needs to change if they are going to compete with YouTube.