Do you want to learn how I got started with Amazon Video Direct to publish my videos on Amazon Prime? In this blog post, I’m going to show you my experience, my earning, and what I think is the best and the worst of Amazon Video Direct.
Amazon Prime is the service that I am a subscriber to. It allows two-day free shipping on all Amazon orders and you get access to all of the Amazon Prime videos, which is similar to Netflix.
Getting Started with Amazon Video Direct for Amazon Prime Publishing
Amazon Prime Video means that prime members can watch all of your videos for free on Amazon and similar to Skillshare, you earn based on the number of minutes you watched. I’m currently earning about $30 or $40 with just a couple of hours of video on Amazon Video Direct right now.
I’m excited to share exactly how to get videos on Amazon Video Direct. I will share the ups and downs of getting videos on Amazon. The biggest up, if you actually get something that people really like on Amazon Video Direct there’s massive upside because Amazon has so much traffic. There are all kinds of shows and movies that are included with Amazon Prime. If you get something people love, you have access to a gigantic audience.
At the same time, it’s not that easy to get started with Amazon Video Direct because you have to have caption files and Amazon’s terms and conditions about what you can upload seem to be a bit restrictive in some areas, especially if you’re used to being able to get your courses up on websites where the conditions for uploading are not as restrictive there.
How much am I actually earning with Amazon Video Direct watched by Amazon Prime member?
Currently I am earning anywhere from $20 to $50 a month with just a two or so hour test video about Linux. Now, what I love about Amazon Video Direct is that there’s almost no competition. Now look at this, you search for Linux, and these two come up.
These are both my videos. I paid a freelancer to make about two hours of video. These are two different seasons of one show and you might look at the reviews and think there’s not even hardly anyone watching these. These are good currently for about $20 to $50 a month.
We’ll do the calculator here and see how much we are getting per minute watched, and to do this the most effectively, I would really need to go directly over to the exact time period. However, we’ll just do a rough estimate here. This says estimated income, so we’ll put this previous months that have been around $30, so we’ll do the same here and say around $30 to around 3,159 minutes streamed. We’re just going to do an approximate calculation here. I’ll bring the calculator over and we’ll do this together. Let’s just say it will be 3,159 minutes divided by, let’s say about $31.59.
You’re looking at about 100 minutes watched gives you about a dollar of income. So if you get 3,100 minutes watched, then you’re looking at $31 of income.
Currently, it looks like 100 minutes watched is worth a dollar, which is about one cent per minute watched. Now, that doesn’t seem great, for example Skillshare pays about $0.05 per minute watched. Therefore you might think, “Well that’s not that great in terms of how much I’m going to earn,” especially when you consider the cost of getting closed captions on. It doesn’t seem that lucrative to get started with especially when you look at a huge topic on websites that sell classes.
Linux is a gigantic topic making a bunch of money and you see there’s almost no competition here. People are watching these Linux videos and it’s only earning $20 to $50 a month. I think that there’s a big opportunity on Amazon because of the huge potential upside. What we’ve got on Amazon is asymmetrical risk. It means that the downside is not that down, and yet if you actually get something that’s popular the people really like, there’s huge potential upside. I think Amazon Prime presents a wide-open opportunity to make lot’s of different classes and potentially earn very good income.
I’m going to start getting my classes up for available on Amazon Prime by using Amazon Video Direct. I’m excited to see this is what I’m getting out of a two-hour long video. What I’ve recently submitted is the “Speaker Meeting 2017.“ This is 12 hours of video. The longer, the more videos there are, the best chance to earn a lot more minutes watched.
I’m just getting started. I’ve tested out this Ubuntu Linux now for months before hand to see and I’ve now decided it is worth it to take Amazon Prime using Amazon Video Direct seriously. I’m excited you started this here with me and I’ll continue sharing more about going into Amazon Video Direct with you.
What is the worst part about Amazon Video Direct?
The worst part about Amazon Video Direct is the uploading interface. There are things that are mandatory on here that you must do or you can’t upload. You need to have your Key art ready. You must have Key art both in a 16:9 format and by a 4:3. Now, that’s not a big deal individually, but you do have to actually have to put screenshots that meet Amazon’s terms which necessitate you have whatever the title is called in here and then a screenshot with it.
The uploading interface is also a nightmare in the sense that you have to actually have the videos ready before you go to upload them and here’s the very worst part. You have to upload what’s called a mezzanine file and you have to upload captions in the correct format with every single video.
This is the biggest limitation to doing Amazon Video Direct because it seems most online courses I’ve watched and seen online, and I’ve seen thousands, most of them do not have captions.You either need to be able to do your own captions if you’re on a low budget or you need to get your captions outsourced if you have the budget to get that done. Fortunately, it’s very cheap to get captions done.
I used another website called rev.com, which has a very fast turn-around. In just a few days, I got captions for this entire video season. 12 hours of video cost me about $700 or so to get that done in captions. Fortunately, my friend Michel has introduced me to a lower cost option, which I will show you.
It’s on my resources page and this is what I’ve just started using. I’m now using GoTranscript for my captions and if you click on this link “try GoTranscript,” I will be very grateful because I do get a small affiliate commission for the life of your account and you will get $10 to try their service.
I had my friend Michel Gerard refer me to GoTranscript and they gave me a $10 credit because I used his affiliate link. The nice thing about GoTranscript is the pricing, especially if you do bulk discount, it’s as low as $0.72 a minute and if you want a transcript out of it, as well as the closed captions files, it’s cheaper.
I’m grateful that I’ve found GoTranscript over here because at $0.72 a minute I can definitely afford to go ahead and get captions done for videos for Amazon Direct.
The worst part about the Amazon Video Direct interface is that you have to have everything ready all at once.
You need to have all the videos done, all the captions done, in the correct format, and then you upload all of them together. You can’t work on the title and the synopsis because if you go to “save” it, it will give you an error. You’ve got to upload the mezzanine file in Amazon’s format. You’ve got to upload the caption file the way they want to, and then you can just add individual episodes to a season. Thankfully, you can do one episode at a time in a season.
If you have something like a class it might be nice to do it in an episodic format. However, you might prefer to do it also as a standalone because if it gets a negative rating, it’s only going to affect that one video. If you do it in episodic, which is the format I chose for my “Speaker Meeting,” if people don’t like one season of it that rating will negatively affect it. However, I think that there’s much bigger potential doing an episodic like a TV show or a web series. The very worst part about using Amazon Video Direct that I’ve found so far is the requirement to have closed captions when you upload.
What is the very best part about Amazon Video Direct and how to get started with that?
I just googled a number of Amazon Prime subscribers and apparently there are 65 million Amazon Prime subscribers in the United States.
The upside possible with Amazon Video Direct is massive, while I think getting started with Amazon as an option to make money using Amazon Video Direct is much more difficult than nearly any other platform. This is because of the lack of competition in many areas people aren’t looking for, because of the caption requirements, because of the exact video file formats and because it takes quite a while to get paid.
The earnings that I have are actually months behind. I think my most recent payment in February 2017 was for November 2016. Amazon Prime does not pay out very quick to Amazon Video Direct. There’s a bunch of down sides. However, if you’re able to get past those down sides, there’s massive up sides possible. I’m excited.
I think if they actually approve my “Speaker Meeting“ as a TV show, an episodic series, I think something like this has the chance to be way higher on the upside than almost any other website I’ve ever been on. I’ve had the top 10 course on a website that’s one of the top 200 or something in the world. It’s the number one online course selling website that produced several hundred thousand dollars.
I think getting something up to the very top of Amazon Prime could be worth not just money, but much more in terms of publicity because 65 million, is a massive number of people. If you can get out of the bottom essentially, if you can get those first few reviews, if you can get something that people really love and enjoy, you can get it recommended alongside best-selling movies.
You can get it recommended alongside Amazon original series. If you are looking at getting paid $0.01 a minute and you’ve got 65 million potential subscribers to reach just in the USA alone plus there’s more in other countries, there’s a massive upside there. I think if you have something that’s truly a breakthrough, Amazon Video Direct makes for a great opportunity to put out some of those more general courses because there’s not a lot of people that are searching for the technical courses on Amazon Prime.
What it does seem though, if you can get something that really moves people. I’m trying with my “Speaker Meeting” and this is to me an unbelievable thing. I’ve never seen anything like this, I go honestly into all these areas of addiction, my sex problem, alcoholism and gambling, in amazing and intimate detail.
I think something like this, if people actually like it, it has the chance to have an unbelievable upside. What I love about Amazon Video Direct is the potential for an unbelievable upside. There’s no other service I know of that’s a paying subscriber based service, which has this many subscribers and that provides this level of upside. The best part is I don’t have to sell anything either.
These are people who already are paying subscribers and all I need to do is upload the video, and then it is up to me once this gets approved, you can see I just submitted this over the weekend, it’s still in the approval phase. It’s working on publishing. Once this gets published, it is up to me to try to get those first few prime members, people who are already following me to go get those very first reviews on it, to go start watching on Amazon Prime.
However, once I do the initial work, then I just trust Amazon’s process, for some reason if I ever make one thing that people love on Amazon Prime, the distribution is absolutely amazing. Can you imagine having what you’ve created be referenced and recommended next to things like Indiana Jones, having it recommended next to Amazon original series? There’s that potential on Amazon Prime. If you’re willing to take the shot at going for the very top then I think Amazon Video Direct might be great for you.
At the same time, I wouldn’t rely on it to be a complete source of income. I’m grateful because I’m earning enough to do my business on selling courses on my website, by having Skillshare premium members and enrollments. I’m grateful that I essentially don’t need to make any money off of Amazon Video Direct. If the captions simply pay for themselves, I would be happy and I want to just continue putting things on Amazon Video Direct to keep swinging for that grand slam.
If I happen to hit a grand slam with anything on Amazon Video Direct, then I have the chance to have this be my number one source of income, and I’m grateful to see that this will take patience. There’s no way that uploading a video on Amazon Video Direct will have for effect to all of a sudden get right next to all of these box office best sellers Amazon original series. However, the potential is there.
I’m grateful you’ve experienced this with me in this section. I hope this was helpful for you to see what is possible with Amazon Video Direct.
In my next blog post, I’m going to show you How to Use Amazon Video Direct for Amazon Prime Publishing.
Also available on Amazon Prime