Giant shopping portal, Amazon, just dropped a new service that puts it in direct competition with video-sharing giant, YouTube. The new feature, referred to as Amazon Video, will allow people to upload their videos to its website and earn from their content through ads and royalties, as well as from other sources.
With YouTube racking up an average of 4 billion video views per day, it would probably take some time before Amazon catches up with the vast amount of content on the video-sharing platform, which is owned by Google. However, it could make inroads as far as revenue is concerned based on the number of ways the new product is being monetized.
How it Works
For starters, content creators have the option to sell or rent their videos directly on Amazon or make them available to the entire Amazon community but with support for ads (similar to what currently gives on YouTube). Additionally, video providers can make their videos available to customers with active Amazon Prime subscriptions and benefit from royalties each time they stream the content, or as an addition to their subscriptions.
To further sweeten the deal, Amazon also plans to pay out a total of $1 million monthly to the top 100 video creators whose videos have received the highest number of views from Prime subscribers. With Amazon Video open only to professional video producers and, with the requirements being high-definition content with closed-captioning for people with a hearing disability, competition should be quite stiff for creators to be among the elite.
Amazon’s new move will provide a stiffer challenge to YouTube’s dominance in the video content/streaming department. YouTube currently has over 1 billion monthly users who watch more than 6 billion hours of video content each month. But Amazon has already been chipping away at their huge market share as they compete for consumers who are known as cord cutters and those who have never subscribed to cable. Their streaming service has been around for some time, providing movies and television shows through their website, but they have faced stiff competition from on-demand TV giant, Netflix.
Amazon will also target another area of streaming via its new product, that of video games, for which YouTube has been making forays. Currently, YouTubers can get on-demand access to uploaded video games; live functions are being added to this service to allow viewers to get a real-time experience. On the other hand, Amazon will be ramping up video game broadcasting with live chat among users with Twitch, a live-streaming service it acquired in 2014. Twitch will also allow broadcasters to upload previous broadcasts to their channels, a move which will mirror YouTube’s current offering in that department.
What this means for Consumers
Amazon’s step into the video viewing arena will provide consumers with new options for entertainment. Already, Prime subscribers, which number in the tens of millions, get video streaming services in their subscription packages. However, all users of Amazon, including non-Prime members, will have yet another option at their fingertips, so far as viewing live and recorded content without paying an upfront fee is concerned. This represents exciting days ahead, especially in light of the fact that some video streaming services have been increasing subscription costs.
So, how will Amazon really benefit? The online retail platform is set to see increased revenues from advertisements posted on videos, as well as from an expected increase in Prime subscribers. YouTube currently generates billions of dollars in advertisement revenue yearly for parent company, Google, so it’s not that hard to see how Amazon could also benefit from video content.
To get a true picture of how this could impact Amazon’s fortunes, let’s look at a few facts and figures:
- Total revenue for Amazon Inc. stood at $107 billion for 2015, making it the leading online retailer in the U.S.
- Amazon.com has over 304 million active customer acounts globally; 171.8 million unique visitors use the site monthly.
- 10.7% of the entire American population has an Amazon Prime account.
- Prime subscribers spend an average of $500 more annually compared to non-subscribers.
- Amazon is ranked as one of the most valuable companies globally.
While it is left to be seen how Amazon.com’s step into the video upload realm will affect YouTube, the future seems rife with possibilities. With YouTube also making plans for the future, consumers have their work cut out trying to soak up all the visual content that will further flood the internet.