Amazon Launches Video Hosting and Monetization Service

From what we understand, user-generated online video sharing is the latest craze these days. All the kids are doing it. We even heard something about Google acquiring YouTube for $1.65 billion. Seriously though, it seems like new video hosting / sharing services pop up every day thanks to the tremendous popularity of web video. If you’re going to partake, why not try to make some money in the process? Several services now offer a variety of monetization methods; some good, some not so good. Amazon’s new offering, Your Video Widget, is an attempt to capitalize on the video trend while offering a unique affiliate scheme to users. Your Video Widget allows content creators to place Amazon ads that will pop up while a video is being played. The ad service allots a great amount of freedom to the creator, which is quite nice. During the set up process for each video, users can pick exactly which ads they would like to display and exactly where during playback said ads will pop up. The downside? Amazon pays for sales, not clicks. It will be interesting to see whether or not Amazon’s offering will be widely picked up as it is missing some key features of competitive services that would help its growth and the affiliate program success, namely the community aspects of video sharing. The service would likely be pretty widely accepted amongst bloggers if Amazon added simple embed / share links to the player UI. As it stands now, there isn’t even any kind of link in the embedded player to a main video page providing embedding code. Bottom line: Your Video Widget isn’t going to make a substantial amount of money for 99.999% of people as it stands now. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the service however, and how Amazon will change and enhance it to create a more valuable tool for affiliates.

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