Update On :01 December 2014
Imagine if every video on YouTube were accompanied by items related to the video that you could buy instantly â€” sort of like YouTube meets the Home Shopping Network. Or, more accurately, YouTube meets Amazon.
That appears to be the general idea behind a new part of Amazon's Instant Video website called Video Shorts.
Pointed out in a recent report from Techcrunch, which claims that the site launched without much fanfare just a couple of weeks ago, the site features short video clips framed by various for sale items related to the content in the video.
So far, the short videos cover a wide range of categories including movie trailers, actor interviews, music videos, concert performances, books, sports, home and garden tips, technology reviews, food recipe how-to's and beauty tips.
Each video includes the video's runtime, its genre, a brief description and offers the viewer the ability to rate the video and write a review. Unlike YouTube, most of the videos appear to be from companies with their own channels rather than individual uploaders.
On that point, it bears mentioning that, as of this writing, users can't click on the name of the channel to see all the video uploads from that company, an odd choice that could be a mere oversight or indicate that Amazon is more interested in promoting the platform over any one brand.
Aside from major movie and music studios, some of those companies represented with channel presences on the site include Howcast, Simon & Schuster, Vevo, Ubisoft, Vox Media (parent company of tech news site The Verge), Activision, Electronic Arts and others.
Additionally, in case there's any doubt about the sales-first nature of the offering, each video also has a unique Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN), the character set Amazon uses to identify products from partner companies.
Sampling the site's offerings reveals a powerful pairing of free content and contextually relevant ecommerce potential. For example, when we went to the pets section and clicked on a video titled "the Pros & Cons of the Pug Breed," underneath the video were books about pugs, stuffed toy pugs and even a pug board game for sale. In the health section, accompanying a video detailing how to properly execute a yoga pose, the page also included yoga books, balance balls and yoga chairs for sale.
Similarly, on the trailer page for the video game Destiny, visitors can also move their cursor over a few inches to the right and purchase the game as well as special edition Xbox and PlayStation 4 consoles.
However, digging deeper, it appears that the site's ecommerce component fails to cover every single video available. In one video showing NBA star Paul George offering guidance on how to dribble a basketball, no related for sale items are shown.
Delving into the "media synergy" potential of the site, we found at least a couple of significant shortcomings. Case in point: While a Kindle review from The Verge on YouTube features a link back to the publication's main site, the same video on Amazon's Video Shorts site features a synopsis that tells the visitor to "be sure to read the full review at the link above" â€” but there is no link to The Verge's website shown on the page.
The site also doesn't show the view counts on each video, a missed social component that could help boost the virality of videos seen as popular by viewers. Speaking of virality, there are no link share buttons on the videos, either. So if you want to point a friend to a video on the site, you'll have to do it the old-fashioned way â€” cut and paste the URL.
Most of the videos we viewed featured a pre-roll advertisement, so if you aren't buying the items featured with the video, you're at least going to have to get past commercials to see many of the clips.
Another major difference distinguishing the site from something like YouTube is the fact the none of the videos have an embed option, again, a decision possibly driven by a desire to keep users inside the Amazon experience rather than serving as a true content distribution tool across multiple sites, as is the case with sites like YouTube and Vimeo.
So while the videos are free, the absence of price shouldn't be mistaken for a true competitive answer to YouTube. As with most things Amazon, Video Shorts is about ecommerce.
News Source From : http://mashable.com/2014/07/27/amazon-video-shorts/