NOV 23, 2017
Rumor has it that Amazon is developing a new ad-supported streaming service to accompany its current subscription video service, Amazon Prime Video. ‘The company is talking with TV networks, movie studios, and other media companies about providing programming to the service,’ says VideoInk. Even more exciting, one executive anonymously revealed that Amazon was considering ‘giving content creators their own channels’, planning on sharing ‘ad revenue in exchange for a set number of hours of content each week.’
CNBC ran the story last month as Amazon’s ‘more serious bid against YouTube’. It reveals the scale of the digital video advertising business: ‘US video spending [has reached] $13.23 billion this year… [and] one of the largest recipients of revenue is YouTube, which will garner 21.7 percent’. Advertisers are looking for more platforms with a similar reach – and Amazon could be just the right fit with its 310m monthly active customers.
Meanwhile, Amazon has recently denied these reports. But this is not the first time the company has moved into a more creator-focused area. Amazon Video Direct ‘allowed just about anyone to make their content available to Prime Video subscribers’ in exchange for a per-hour royalty fee. It also owns Twitch, a ‘video platform where users can livestream content and save previous sessions to be watched on demand.’
One publisher told Digiday that it ‘earned mid-five figures on Amazon during its first month on [Video Direct] last year – nearly four times the amount it made from YouTube ad sales during the same month.’ And others are noticing the amount of money that can be made by distributing within the Prime subscription service. HowStuffWorks, for example, started to produce long-form shows on the Amazon platform in 2016.
So if Amazon really is moving towards its own streaming service, it could stand to do incredibly well. Explains Digiday: ‘Whether they’re TV networks, production studios or smaller, digital publishers are treating Amazon as seriously as they do any other video distribution platform.’
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