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Amazon Looks to Take on YouTube with…AmazonTube?

Recent Amazon trademark filings raise some interesting questions about its ambitions for taking on YouTube

Amazon vs Google

As the ongoing battle between Amazon and Google continues to rage, we get word of reports that Amazon has filed trademark requests for “Amazon Tube” and “Open Tube”. As first spotted by Philip Swan at tvanswerman.com, these trademark filings were made the same day that Google announced that it would be pulling YouTube access from Amazon Fire devices beginning January 1st 2018.

You may recall that back in May 2016, Amazon raised eyebrows when, somewhat out of the blue, the company unveiled its own plans to compete in the user-generated video market with the launch of a new service called Amazon Video Direct. The service, which is still live today, allows creators to upload their own videos to Amazon’s Prime Video and generate royalties based on the hours streamed.

Amazon launched the self-distribution platform Amazon Video Direct (AVD) last May with the intention, as AVD head Eric Orme says, to give filmmakers “another avenue if they don’t feel they will secure distribution.”

It’s free of charge to upload any film to the platform. The only requirement is that it must meet the Amazon Video guidelines and contain captions or subtitles. You then select the options on how the movie will be viewed — rent, buy, available for free on the site with ads, or available on Amazon Prime. Then the movie is on the service for potentially millions to see.

So, in essence, it appears that rather than cat videos and unboxing clips, with AVD, Amazon is aiming more at the premium video publishing market. Similar to what Google is trying to do with YouTube Red. But that name, AmazonTube? They’ll need to work on that.

Do you think Amazon and Google can iron out their differences before the January 1st embargo to remove YouTube from Amazon devices? Share your thoughts in the comments below: