After taking aim at Netflix with streaming video, Amazon now has its sights on Google. The e-tailer today launched Video Direct, an ad-supported video service similar to YouTube.
The move is yet another indication that video has become the new point of differentiation for tech giants. A similar contest happened with livestreaming: after Twitter bought Periscope, Facebook made Facebook Live and Google built YouTube Connect so as not to be left out of the growing market.
But despite its predominance in e-commerce, Amazon might find it difficult to upstage YouTube. Google’s platform accounts for nearly 20% of the U.S. video ad market, and most brands still use it to share content: 77% of U.S. Beauty and Hair Care brands post videos on YouTube while only 63% share them on Facebook and Instagram, according to L2’s Video report.
From a global perspective, the study also finds that while Facebook is approaching YouTube’s reach among brands, Instagram – the newest of the three video platforms – lags behind. That suggests that because spending is the only way to gain visibility on those platforms, brands with limited ad budgets may be reluctant to cut their Facebook and YouTube spending to invest in Amazon’s new service.