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Amazon launches Video Direct for creators, looking to take on YouTube

Amazon wants to be the one stop for video

Amazon has launched a new distribution service called Video Direct, which allows video creators to upload and share their work directly with Prime subscribers.

There are four different sharing options for creators to choose from on the new platform The basic model allows them to upload their videos and share them for free across Video to Prime users. These videos won't be monetized, but will provide creators with the biggest possible audience. The second option is to offer the video as a one-time rental option. If these don't appeal to creators, a third, ad-based option will allow the videos to be accessible to anyone, but it's the fourth option that is the most interesting.

Like other streaming services, such as Hulu, YouTube and Twitch, Amazon has a separate subscription based streaming service — the Streaming Partners Program — that people can use if they're interested in following a specific person or team. This program would allow creators to upload their videos directly to their own channel exclusively for those who subscribe to their streams. Much like Twitch, creators would have a baseline subscription fee and make a percentage of profit off that pool of subscribers.

With the new program, Amazon is promising video creators "access to the most engaged streaming audience," expanded customer reach (different countries around the world, with options for videos to be played on different platforms) and access to the best performance metrics to gauge how videos are doing. Most of which can also be found through other video sharing sites, especially YouTube.

Heading into the launch of the new program, Amazon has partnered with a variety of publications and creators to bring content to the platform. Mattel, Machinima, The Guardian and Mashable are just some of the partners who will create content exclusively for Amazon Video Direct in the coming months.

Interestingly enough, as Amazon looks to get in on bringing everyday creators to its streaming service, YouTube is looking to launch a more premium subscription service. The company is reportedly in talks with different cable companies to bring skinny-bundled, live TV programming to the site as part of a new project called YouTube Unplugged. It's a move that streaming giant Hulu is also looking to make, partnering with Disney and Fox to bring live TV programming to its subscribers.

More information about the project can be found here.

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