Amazon Taking On YouTube With User-Generated Hub

Amazon is getting into the user-generated content game, unveiling today Amazon Video Direct, an addition to its Prime Video offering. The self-service program will allow people to make their video content available to Amazon customers alongside the tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes the company offers for streaming, rent or purchase.

Creators can elect to offer videos to Amazon Prime members for free with ads. They also can charge viewers by providing the content as an add-on subscription, a one-time rental, or as a downloaded purchase.

The platform launches today in the U.S., UK, Germany, Austria and Japan. Providers can choose to make their titles available in any country where Amazon Video is available. The platform will be supported on all the devices that accommodate Amazon Video — Fire TV, Fire and other iOS and Android tablets, connected TVs, game consoles, iOS and Android phones, and laptops.

As part of the program, Amazon today also launched Amazon Video Direct Stars, which will give video providers the opportunity to earn royalties and monthly bonuses based on customer engagement.

“It’s an amazing time to be a content creator,” said Jim Freeman, VP of Amazon Video, in announcing AVD. “There are more options for distribution than ever before and with Amazon Video Direct, for the first time, there’s a self-service option for video providers to get their content into a premium streaming subscription service. We’re excited to make it even easier for content creators to find an audience, and for that audience to find great content.”

AVD launch partners include Conde Nast Entertainment, HowStuffWorks, Samuel Goldwyn Films, The Guardian, Mashable, Mattel, StyleHaul, Kin Community, Jash, Business Insider, Machinima, TYT Network, Baby Einstein, CJ Entertainment America, Xive TV, Synergetic Distribution, Kino Nation, Journeyman Pictures, and Pro Guitar Lessons.

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