Amazon has added to its Instant Video service with a new(ish) area called “Video Shorts,” which some are suggesting will rival YouTube as a short-form video platform on the web. Though several other companies boast potential YouTube competition, the lack of user-generated content on Amazon’s Video Shorts (among other factors) says otherwise.
Furthermore, when you click on any of the shorts, ranging from under one minute up to about six in run time, they lead you to a page that features a selection of relevant products that you can purchase off of Amazon. Though this marks a novel approach to the idea of branded content, it makes it distinctly different from its user-generated digital counterparts. Even the Video Shorts’ version of “related videos” tacks on price tags.
Genres in the new segment of Amazon’s video service include music videos, concerts, movies, games, tech, food, beauty how-to, literature, and pets, among a few others. Containing about 100,000 video shorts in all, separated according to the above categories, the collection seems to serve Amazon’s internet sales more than it seeks to promote video watching for its own sake.
Also, Amazon’s Video Shorts crept up on viewers. The category seemed to appear out of nowhere a couple of weeks ago…which makes sense more if it helps to promote Amazon’s other purposes (selling products) as opposed to standing out simply as an entertainment hub.
The video clips section on Amazon represents channels belonging to Simon & Schuster, Sony Music Entertainment, Howcast, Polygon, and Microsoft Studios.