Amazon cozies up to video publishers with marketing and tech support – and cash

Amazon wants video publishers and creators to distribute their work on its streaming platform. And it’s providing free marketing and technical support — and in some cases, financial incentives — to make that happen.

Video publishers and creators have two primary ways to self-distribute on Amazon Prime: the Amazon Video Direct program, which allows publishers of all sizes to upload videos to the Prime subscription platform (as well as sell it directly through the Prime video store); and the Amazon Channels program, which allows media companies to sell their subscription services as add-on channels. Both are proving to be early revenue drivers for participants.

In addition to new revenue, Amazon is also providing internal support for its partners. The company has teams dedicated to both programs, with reps assigned to assisting publishing partners. (Amazon declined to specify the size of these teams.)

Within the Amazon Channels program, Amazon is taking on a lot of the marketing and infrastructure costs that go into building and maintaining a streaming video channel. Publishers can advertise their channels, but Amazon will regularly promote different subscription channels or video titles across its platform, including Amazon.com and IMDb.

“It starts as a distribution relationship, but out of that it evolves as we develop and define different marketing and strategic partnerships,” said Mark Garner, svp of distribution and digital content licensing for A+E Networks.

Amazon also integrates the channels that Prime customers have subscribed to within the Prime user interface. For instance, if a Prime customer has subscribed to Cinedigm’s Docurama — which focuses on documentary films and nonfiction shows — they will see titles from the channel right underneath featured films and shows, new releases and Amazon’s own original series.

“It puts the channels right in the midst of when someone is browsing through Prime,” said Erick Opeka, evp of digital…

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