Amazon unveils its own version of YouTube

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Amazon's new Video Direct service will let users upload their own video content to the company's website and share it with customers and Amazon Prime members.

NEW YORK — Amazon’s new Video Direct service will let users upload their own video content to the company’s website and share it with customers and Amazon Prime members.

Amazon Video Direct launched Tuesday, and seems to have the same format as the Google-owned YouTube.

The new service will be offered through Amazon Video.

Users can upload videos and offer them free to Prime members. They can offer them free with ads to other Amazon customers or sell them to viewers who want to rent or own them. Videos can also be grouped together and offered as an add-on subscription.

Video creators will also be eligible for bonus rewards as part of Amazon’s “Video Direct Stars,” which also launched Tuesday.

The new rewards program enables users to get a share of one million dollars based on how well their videos do.

Amazon said in a release that creators can also share their videos with customers in countries where Amazon Video is available, such as Germany, Austria and Japan.

The new service will also be available on Fire TV, Fire and other devices that already support Amazon Video.

Content creators will be given data on how long their videos are streamed for, how many subscribers they have and how much revenue they’re projected to make. They will have “full control” of their uploads, according to Amazon.

Amazon Video Direct said it already has partnerships with groups such as Conde Nast Entertainment, HowStuffWorks, Samuel Goldwyn Films, The Guardian, Mashable, Baby Einstein and Mattel.

Content from those companies is already available online and new users can upload videos to the site immediately.