Amazon has announced a service called Amazon Video Direct, which allows filmmakers and content creators to self-publish their work on Prime Video.
The service follows in the footsteps of its Kindle Direct Publishing, which has seen budding authors making their work available on Amazon's store without the need for a publisher.
Amazon Video Direct will be available to customers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria and Japan. The service will compete with existing video distribution sites including Vimeo and Youtube.
Amazon will distribute money based on customer's engagement with the titles available on the service. These funds will be a share of a one million dollar monthly fund, and will be shared between the top 100 titles available on Video Direct.
Content creators will need to make their content available to Amazon Prime customers to be eligible for this fund, which Amazon calls its AVD Stars programme.
A host of monetization options
Content creators have the option of monetizing their content through Amazon by either offering their content supported by ads, as a rental or purchase item, or offering it as an add-on subscription through Amazon's Streaming Partners Programme in the US.
They can also make their content available for free to Prime members.
Being able to monetize self-published video online is nothing new. YouTube already allows content creators to make money off the ads that people watch when viewing their videos, as well as their subscription service Youtube Red which offers users an ad-free experience.
Vimeo also offers video on demand, which lets users rent and buy video content from its creators.
Amazon is unique in that it already has a huge number of subscribers to its Prime service which content creators can reach by making their content available through Prime Video. This enrolls them in the previously mentioned AVD Stars Programme.
Amazon also offers more monetization options than its competitors.
At its launch, Amazon's partners include The Guardian, Machinima and How Stuff Works, all publishers that have a large amount of content available on competing services such as YouTube.
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Jon Porter is the ex-Home Technology Writer for TechRadar. He has also previously written for Practical Photoshop, Trusted Reviews, Inside Higher Ed, Al Bawaba, Gizmodo UK, Genetic Literacy Project, Via Satellite, Real Homes and Plant Services Magazine, and you can now find him writing for The Verge.