In terms of delivering movies and TV series for rent, buy, or free streaming via the company's Amazon Prime membership programme, Amazon's Instant Video service has long been seen as a competitor to iTunes and Netflix. However, you might want to add YouTube to that list of potential competitors, as Amazon has just launched a new area of Instant Video dubbed "Video Shorts" that focuses on short-form, YouTube-like material.

Amazon Launches A YouTube-Like "Video Shorts" Section
The firm claims that the Video Shorts area of Instant Video was created just a few weeks ago, yet the content it includes has been accumulating on the site for much longer. Last year, Amazon began adding short-form video material to its video service, gradually expanding the portfolio to include a mix of movie and game trailers, music videos and concert clips, how-to videos, and other content.

The majority of the how-tos on Instant Video are about beauty and cosmetic advice, a category that is flourishing on YouTube, where millions of people watch vloggers' channels and which has produced breakthrough stars like Michelle Phan, who has over 6.7 million followers. However, Amazon's offering pales in contrast to YouTube's user-generated material: its beauty videos appear to be sourced from content farms such as Howcast or Howdini.

Meanwhile, unlike YouTube, the Video Shorts video game area mostly consists of game trailers and snippets, with relatively few walkthroughs or hints. Meanwhile, according to recent sources, Amazon has no competitors in game livestreaming, a more recently popular genre of internet media that has later resulted in a billion dollar departure for Twitch to YouTube parent firm, Google. "Food & Drink," "Technology," and "Literature & Books" are among the other divisions in Amazon's short form video section, all of which neatly tie to items sells in its online shop.

What, after all, does Amazon not sell these days? With investments in everything from cloud infrastructure and services to mobile devices and consumer goods, the company's aspirations appear to be limitless. The startup intends to bring groceries to your door, send things via drone, broadcast media to all of your screens, and even make its own television series and video games.

It should come as no surprise, however, that Amazon sees its Instant Video Service as having the ability to compete not only with iTunes and Netflix, but also with least in the short term. However, at the moment, the Video Shorts area only has "hundreds of thousands" of films to pick from — a large number, but nothing compared to YouTube, which now has over a billion monthly users watching over 6 billion hours of video. Amazon may have launched a Video Shorts section to its site, but it still has a long way to go before it can compete with YouTube.