How to Get Your Film on Amazon Video Direct Image

How to Get Your Film on Amazon Video Direct

By Film Threat Staff | May 31, 2024

The Holy Grail for every indie filmmaker is to get their films to the top streaming services Netflix, Amazon Prime Video Direct, HULU and iTunes. I was looking at getting my series distributed on these platforms and came across a roadblock. The SVOD distributors. I just couldn’t get direct access to upload my content. I had to go through an online service. They were charging to wrap my video in the desired encoding formats, add closed captions and provide metadata. I could do all this myself because of my background in VOD and captioning, but I still needed to pay them a whole lot more just for access.

Distribution of my series was put on hold even though it was gathering steam in publications and social media. And then it finally happened, Amazon opened doors to filmmakers to directly upload their content and get listed on Amazon Prime Video Direct. Woohoo, and I got to work.

One month later my series is up on Amazon Prime Video Direct and available in the US, Germany, Austria, UK, and Japan. It’s not just available on the browser but through well designed apps on all sorts of devices.

Amazon Prime Video Direct is available on:

Devices: Roku, Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo, TiVo

TV sets: LG, Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, Vizio etc.

Tablets:  iPad, Kindle, Android

Bluray Player: Sony, Samsung, Panasonic etc.

With that kind of distribution you know that you can reach the majority of your target market. Another advantage is that your audience does not need to be a prime subscriber. They have the option to rent as well.

A great benefit of Amazon Prime Video Direct is control. You get to choose how you earn through your content all the while having complete control and monitoring over your content’s progress.

Now there are some requirements you need to fill before you get have your content uploaded, below is the summarized version of the requirements:

Requirements to upload to Amazon Prime Video Direct

Video.  Your video should be in SD and HD format but 4k/UHD is not supported yet. Common aspect ratio supported are, 4:3 and 16:3. Frame rates should be 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, and 30. Also ensure your frame rate is fixed, variable frame rate will not be accepted. No content other than the video will be accepted.

Audio. All of your audio should be in the same language and the soundtrack must only contain the program audio. Also, audio and video duration must match and one of the following audio configurations must be there, 1-Channel Mono, 2-Channel Stereo, 6-Channel 5.1 Surround Sound and 8-Channel 5.1 Surround Sound + Stereo.

File Format. The following are the most common and recommended file formats supported. Pro-Res 422 in MOV. MPEG-2 in MPG, MPEG, M2P, M2T, M2TS and TS. Lastly, H.264 in MP4, M2T and TS.

Closed Captioning. This is a required feature that is actually an investment in your product as 30% viewers prefer captions and 80% of them are not even hearing impaired. For content published in the US, English captions are required. For Spanish content, Spanish captions can be used instead. For content published worldwide, captions are a must, except Japan. Captions are different from subtitles, in that you need to follow FCC guidelines since they are primarily targeted for a hard of hearing audience.

You may need a post-production script to be completed first for captions or foreign subtitles.. You can hire a film transcription company to create a CCSL or a Spotting List for closed captions, foreign subtitles or dubbing purposes.

Supported closed caption formats are SMPTE-TT (RP-2052), STL (Spruce Subtitle File), EBU-TT, DFXP, SRT, iTT and SCC.

Art. There are two types of art images, key art and background image. Key art needs to be in 1200×1600 (3:4) for standalone content and 1600×1200 (4:3) for serialized content. Also, you need to submit both of these in 1920×1080 (16:9). The images should be in .jpg or .png format.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure your film meets Amazon Prime Video Direct’s standards, paving the way for a smooth upload process and wide distribution. With Amazon Prime Video Direct, you have the opportunity to reach a global audience and maintain control over your content and its monetization.

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