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Want to Post Videos on Amazon Video Direct?

September 26, 2017

This article is intended to help you make an informed decision about whether you want to use Amazon's video platform, Amazon Video Direct, to post your videos.   If you would like additional information, or to discuss my personal experience with and assessment of these items, please email me or set up a time to call me.



 Amazon Video Direct, which can be found here, is another forum YouTubers and others can use to post videos and earn money based on hours streamed by Prime members and / or other options.  Among other things, the service promises to distribute a share of $1 million each month as a bonus to the top 50 movies, top 10 TV seasons, and top 25 digital content providers



The service claims to be different from other video forums because of the flexibility it offers, the ability to make your videos available on numerous supported devices, and the accessibility to resources that can help you optimize your channel.






As far as legal obligations are concerned, you should look to the Digital Video License Agreement.  Please understand, however, that this is not the only legal document you will need to examine to know exactly what you are committing to.  As is frequently the case, this Agreement incorporates by reference the terms of at least 5 other contractual documents (i.e., Content Guidelines, Subscription Guidelines, Amazon Video Direct Terms of Use, Conditions of Use, and Privacy Notice).  For obvious reasons, I am not going to thoroughly examine all of those statements in this article.  If you have any specific questions about any of them, feel free to email me.


NON-NEGOTIABLEBecause the negotiability of any agreement depends in large part on the relative leverage of the parties, and because Amazon virtually has all of the leverage here, you either accept their proposed agreement or you are not permitted to use the program.


AMENDABLE WITHOUT NOTICEAmazon reserves the right to amend the terms of the agreement and the program without providing you any notice.  If you use the program after changes have been unilaterally made, your continued use equals acceptance of the changes even if you are completely unaware of those changes.


DESCRIPTION OF SERVICESYou can choose to allow customers to access your videos through digital purchase, digital rental, non-transactional access, or ad-supported access.

 MONEYAmazon will calculate and pay the applicable "license fees" to you within 90 days of the completion of each applicable calendar month.  License fees can be withheld until you reach the minimum threshold in accrued fees.  Amazon uses the "purchase price" to calculate you fees,

and this is based on amounts actually paid by customers, exclusive of any taxes.  The amount of the fees will be equal to 50% of the purchase price for digital purchase or digital rental, and 15% of net advertising receipts for ad-supported access.  Fees are calculated differently for non-transactional access.  Amazon generally does NOT have to pay you for videos watched during free trial periods.

 RIGHTS GIVEN TO AMAZON Among other things, you give Amazon the right to make smaller works from your videos (up to 1 minute of footage if your video is under 22 minutes) to use for advertising, and this right survives termination of the Agreement.


CONTENTSome things to be aware of regarding content specifications in the Agreement:

  • If you offer a video free of charge on a Competing Service, you have to offer it for Ad-Supported Access if you want to be eligible to distribute the video via Digital Purchase, Digital Rental, or Non-Prime Subscription Access.

  • You must deliver closed captions for all videos

  • You retain ownership rights in and to the copyrights and all other rights  and interests in and to your videos.

This is just a brief overview of the Amazon Video Direct platform and the Digital Video License Agreement related to it.  I certainly recommend that you seek advice from an attorney before entering into this or any other similar contract.  If you have any questions regarding this program, or if you would like to request a similar article about another service or website, please email me or set up a time to call me.



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