×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amazon Launches Free, Short-Form Video Site Aimed at Boosting Product Sales

Amazon has expanded into short-form online video, launching a destination stocked with 100,000 free clips aimed primarily at driving up e-commerce sales, as well as generating incremental revenue through video ads.

Over the past few weeks, Amazon quietly added a new section to its website, called Video Shorts. Clips include movie and TV trailers, actor and book-author interviews, music videos, videogame trailers, and how-to tutorials for tech, beauty, food and drink.

The destination, in a limited way, also represents a new rival to Google’s YouTube along with other free-video websites like AOL, Yahoo and MSN.

But Amazon’s goal looks mainly to drive viewers to buy more digital and physical goods from Amazon, rather than build a business based on video advertising. In other words: not a “YouTube killer.”

Most of the Video Shorts clips show related items for purchase from Amazon to the right of the video-player window. For example, the trailer for 20th Century Fox’s “Rio 2” on the site includes links to buy the DVD, or rent or purchase the digital version through Amazon Instant Video. The bottom of each Video Shorts page also includes Amazon’s “customers who viewed this item also viewed” suggestive-selling listings.

Movie studios supplying Amazon trailers, featurettes and other content for Video Shorts include Disney, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Paramount, Sony, Universal, Lionsgate, IFC Films and A24.

Music videos are supplied through agreements with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, Vevo and others, and videogame publishers providing clips include Take-Two Interactive, Electronic Arts, Activision and Nintendo.

Additional video content partners include Howcast, The Verge, Simon & Schuster and WWE.

Amazon has been steadily adding short-form video since last year, a rep said. But before it recently added the Video Shorts section the content previously could only be discovered within relevant search results. The company’s launch of Video Shorts was reported earlier by TechCrunch.

For the second quarter of 2014, the Seattle-based company posted revenue of $19.3 billion, up 23.2% year-over-year, and a bigger-than-expected net loss of $126 million versus a $7 million net loss in the year-earlier period.

 

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • TV Time Richard Rosenblatt and, Mediamorph

    TV Time Acquires Mediamorph, Merging TV and Film Analytics With Content Distribution (EXCLUSIVE)

    TV Time, whose app provides user-reported data about TV and movie engagement, has acquired Mediamorph, a provider of entertainment content distribution and tracking services. Terms of the cash-and-stock deal weren’t disclosed. As part of the acquisition, the combined companies will operate under the name Whip Media Group led by CEO Rich Rosenblatt (above, left). TV [...]

  • Landmark Studio - History of Gangster

    Crackle's New Owner Invests in Creation of Landmark Studios, Headed by David Ozer

    Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment — the company that acquired a controlling stake in Sony Picture Television’s Crackle streaming service — is expanding its original content ambitions. New York-based CSS Entertainment announced that it is investing in the launch of Landmark Studio Group, an integrated entertainment company led by 30-year entertainment industry veteran David [...]

  • Fortnite Chapter 2

    'Fortnite' Emerges From Black Hole With All-New Island in Chapter 2

    After its previous world was sucked into a black hole, “Fortnite” is back — with an all-new island featuring a map with 13 different locations. The latest installment of the free-to-play battle royale game, which publisher Epic Games calls the first season of “Fortnite” Chapter 2, went live early Tuesday at around 6 a.m. ET. [...]

  • Rakuten TV Launching Pan-European AVOD Service

    Rakuten TV Launching Pan-European AVOD Service

    The buzz at Mipcom this year is about advertising-supported as much as subscription VOD, and Rakuten TV made a major move into that space Tuesday with the announcement of a new AVOD service in the 40-plus countries it serves in Europe. Rakuten TV has been focused on transaction-based video-on-demand, offering customers big-ticket studio movies. It [...]

  • Radio-Com

    Entercom's Radio.com Launches DVR-Style Controls for Live Radio Shows (EXCLUSIVE)

    Radio broadcaster Entercom Communications is hoping to expand listenership of its live programming by bringing TiVo-like functionality to its Radio.com platform. Launching this week, Radio.com Rewind lets listeners pause, rewind and fast-forward live radio. It’s accessible via the online player or in the Radio.com app. Eventually, the company said it will integrate the feature with [...]

  • Help Wanted: Amazon Studios International Execs

    Help Wanted: Amazon Studios International Execs Talk European Expansion

    If there’s a perfect example of Amazon Studios’ strategy with its local-language international TV content, Japan’s “Documental” would be it. The series revolves around 10 comedians who battle to make one another laugh in an elimination-style competition. James Farrell, Amazon Studios’ head of international originals, said it was a good example of an unconventional idea [...]

  • Discovery, ProSiebenSat.1 Streamer Joyn Will Launch

    Discovery and ProSiebenSat.1's Joint Streamer, Joyn, Will Get International Launch

    Joyn, the streaming service run jointly by Discovery and German media giant ProSiebenSat.1, will roll out internationally in addition to launching a premium tier domestically later this year. At Mipcom in Cannes, ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Max Conze was asked whether the service, which offers on-demand content and linear channel feeds, would launch beyond Germany. “We definitely [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content