Amazon Video Direct: Is Amazon Challenging YouTube's Dominance With Its Video Service?

By Mark Jason Alcala , Updated May 11, 2016 11:20 AM EDT
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On what appears to be a direct challenge to YouTube, retail giant Amazon just launched its own ad-supported video service named Amazon Video Direct. The service is said to be similar to YouTube's and also allows users to upload their own clips.

The new Amazon Video Direct service will allow Amazon users to upload original content or their own licensed videos, reports WSJ. Uploaders have a lot of options on how to monetize these uploaded videos. They can opt to offer them as available via a subscription channel, sell them online or as part of Amazon's Prime paywall. For Amazon users who just want their videos available for everyone, they can also designate them as free.

Amazon's latest move to enter into video service is seen by analysts as the deepening of its rivalry with another online giant Google, which owns Youtube. Amazon and Google are locked in a fierce competition spanning several fronts which include consumer devices, cloud-computing storage, online shopping, same-day delivery service and now, video services.

It seems Amazon is really keen on becoming a dominant player in the multimedia segment. The company's recent moves reflect a well-executed strategy in realizing this new goal. For example, Amazon diversified its original content with various arrangements with content providers like Epix and HBO. It also recently offered a $8.99 monthly rate for its streaming video service Amazon Prime which is cheaper than the $9.99 monthly rate offered by another rival Netflix.

However, challenging Youtube's 10-year head start could be tricky even for a behemoth like Amazon. Beating Youtube without dangling something enticing to potential new users might not work according to BBC. A possible solution, albeit a more expensive one, would be to lure some well-established content provider to Amazon Video Direct.

Another alternative for Amazon is to secure a niche. This strategy has worked for Vince, Ted and Vimeo. Yet, it's hard to imagine that an industry giant like Amazon would just be content with a mere niche while its arch rival Google enjoys the lion's share. Perhaps something is in the works, let's wait and see.

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