Amazon thinks it can disrupt YouTube

Q: Today marks the debut of Amazon Video Direct, a service catering to content creators that will allow anyone to upload videos. But how, exactly, does Amazon expect to make a dent in a market that YouTube dominates? 

A: I’m guessing the company thinks Amazon loyalists would prefer using Video Direct, especially if it means watching ad-free content. The service gives creators the option of making money off their content in a few ways: 

• Ad-supported videos available for free 
• Videos users can rent or own 
• Videos offered through subscription channels 
• Videos exclusive to Prime members 

This seems like a long shot. YouTube has had 10 years to build up its service and cultivate relationships with content creators, and the site now has an ad-free subscription tier. Plus, Amazon’s cut of ad revenue from free videos will be 45%, the same as YouTube’s current rate.

That said, Amazon boasts at least 46 million Prime subscribers—a hefty user base that is very likely even bigger. And with Prime’s new monthly subscriptions, that number has nowhere to go but up.