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May 11, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 11:46am

Amazon takes on YouTube with new video service

News: The service helps content creators and visual storytellers reach millions of Amazon Video customers.

By CBR Staff Writer

Amazon has launched a YouTube-style video service allowing its customers to post videos and earn royalties from them.

The service, dubbed Amazon Video Direct (AVD), will make uploaded videos available to rent or own, to see free with ads, or be packaged together and delivered as an add-on subscription.

It will be available free of charge to Amazon Prime subscribers in the US, the UK, Germany, Austria and Japan, in which content creators will be paid depending on hours streamed.

Some of the benefits of AVD include access to Amazon’s most engaged streaming audience, choice of how to share titles, expanded customer reach, insightful performance metrics.

Amazon has also signed up several partners for the service, including Conde Nast Entertainment, The Guardian, Mashable, toymaker Mattel, and several others.

Amazon Video vice president Jim Freeman said: "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."

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Amazon has also launched the AVD Stars programme, which gives video creators a share of $1m per month depending on customer engagement with their title.

Amazon is also offering monthly subscriptions for its Prime membership services in order to compete with offerings from companies like Netflix.

The service has been priced below Netflix in a bid to lure customers, with Prime Video service offered at $8.99 per month and including movie as well as TV show streaming.

The moves allow Amazon to compete directly with YouTube and form part of expansion of its video streaming efforts.

YouTube offers a monthly-paid subscription service, which was originally launched in November 2014.

The service, YouTube Red, provides advertising-free streaming of videos hosted by it, offline and background playback of videos on mobile devices, and access to advertising-free music streaming.

It was revealed last October that YouTube is planning to launch a subscription service to offer exclusive content to people who sign up for it.

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