Use a YouTube Channel to Configure Amazon Creator

You can configure your Amazon Creator app using a YouTube channel as the source for your video content. YouTube approach gives you a robust, free platform for hosting and serving your video. You can group your videos into different channels within the same account. Amazon Creator requires you to supply a developer API key in order to access the videos.

Get Your YouTube Channel ID

Amazon Creator displays all the videos contained within a specific YouTube channel. You need your Channel ID to configure Amazon Creator. To get your Channel ID:

  1. Log into YouTube.
  2. In the upper-right corner, click your avatar, and then click Settings.
  3. In the Name section, click Advanced. This takes you to Advanced Settings.
  4. Copy the value for the YouTube Channel ID.

    You can also view get your channel ID by viewing your channel (click your avatar and then click My channel). Your channel ID appears in the address bar after channel/ until the ?, as shown in the following image:

    YouTube Channel ID

Get the YouTube Developer API Key

Amazon Creator needs an API key in order to access your YouTube videos. To get the API key:

  1. Go to the Google Developer Console at console.developers.google.com and log in using the same login you use for YouTube.
  2. In the upper-left corner, click the Select a Project drop-down menu. (If you already have an existing project, the drop-down menu will display a project name instead of Select a Project.)
  3. In the Select dialog box that opens, click the + (plus) button on the right to create a new project:

  4. Type a project name and click Create.
  5. After the project gets created, in the left sidebar, click the Credentials tab:

    Create Credentials screen
  6. Click the blue Create Credentials drop-down menu and select API Key.

    API key
  7. Copy the API key that appears, and then click Close. (You don’t need to restrict your key.)
  8. Save your API key in a convenient location because you will need it when you configure Amazon Creator.

  9. In the left sidebar, click Library. A list of APIs you can enable for your project appears.
  10. Type youtube in the search box, and then select YouTube Data API v3.

    YouTube Data API v3
  11. Click Enable.

    Note that you can use the same API key for each Fire TV app you create (assuming each channel belongs to the same YouTube account).

Configure Your App with the Videos You Want

By default, Amazon Creator gets all the videos from your YouTube channel. If you want all the videos (actually, the last 50) in your channel to appear in your app, great, leave all the videos in your channel as is.

If you only want a subset of videos in your channel included in your app, you have two options:

Block Specific Videos from Appearing in Your App

After you create your app, you can edit your app and block videos from appearing in the app by specifying the video IDs you want to block.

  1. Get the IDs of the videos you want to block. To get the ID for a YouTube video, browse to the video. In the address bar, the ID appears after the = sign. For example, if the URL of your video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v49lSRT6-FY, the video ID is v49lSRT6-FY.
  2. Go to the Advanced settings page for your app:
    1. Click Manage Apps in the upper-right corner.
    2. In your app details, next to "Source," click Advanced.
  3. In the "Blocked Videos" section, enter the video ID in the Video ID to block box and click Block Video.

    Blocking videos

Separate Videos into Multiple Channels in Your YouTube Account

You can create another channel (within your same YouTube account) that includes only the videos you want in your Fire TV app. To create additional channels:

  1. From YouTube, click your avatar in the upper-right corner and select Settings . Alternatively, go directly to your YouTube Account settings page.
  2. Under "Additional features," click See all my channels or create a new channel.
  3. Click + Create a new channel.

    If you created your YouTube channel before 2014, you may not see options to create a new channel until you first create a "brand account." Follow the links to create a brand account. (Newer YouTube channels already offer the ability to create multiple channels without first establishing a brand account.) See Channels migrated to Brand accounts for more details.

  4. As desired, customize your channel with art, a description, and so on.
  5. Upload the videos you want into this channel. (You can't simply transfer videos from one YouTube channel to another.)

    You can transfer the videos by first downloading your videos from one channel and then uploading them into another channel. To download a video, click your avatar in the upper-right, select Creator Studio, then expand VIDEO MANAGER in the left sidebar. Click the drop-down arrow next to a video and select Download MP4. After you transfer videos across channels, delete the videos from the old channel so you don't have duplicate video content across channels. See Manage multiple channels for more details.

    Now that you have multiple channels, you can configure your Fire TV app with the channel ID you want.

Group Videos into Playlists in Your App's Category Navigation Bar

By default, the Latest option in the app's category navigation bar shows the 50 most recent videos in your YouTube channel. You can group your videos into different playlists, and then assign the playlists into different sections in your YouTube channel. The category navigation bar in Amazon Creator will list each of the sections in your YouTube channel.

For example, in the following screenshot, videos are grouped into Car scenes, Trail scenes, and Water scenes:

Category nav bar expanded

(The "About" page contains required attributions for using the YouTube API service. You cannot remove the About page or add additional pages to this menu.)

Each of these category navigation options is a "section" on the YouTube channel page. Each section is configured to display a playlist.

To group your videos into different playlists in your YouTube channel:

  1. From https://www.youtube.com, click your avatar in the upper-right corner, and then select Creator Studio.
  2. In the left sidebar, expand VIDEO MANAGER and select Playlists.
  3. To create a new playlist, click New playlist (in the upper-right corner), type a name, and click Create. (Note: Keep the playlist names short. Long names will be truncated with an ellipses in Amazon Creator's category navigation bar.)
  4. To add a video to a playlist, in the left sidebar, expand VIDEO MANAGER and select Videos. Select the check box next to a video, and then click the Add to button at the top and select the playlist you want to add the video to. See Create & manage playlists for more details.

    Adding a video to a playlist

To assign your playlists to different sections in your YouTube channel:

  1. From https://www.youtube.com, click your avatar in the upper-right corner, and then click My channel.
  2. Click the CUSTOMIZE CHANNEL button.
  3. Near the bottom of the screen, click the Add a section button.
  4. In the CONTENT drop-down menu, under Playlists, select Single playlist.
  5. In the CHOOSE A PLAYLIST section that appears, in the drop-down selection on the right, click Find playlist… and select the playlist you want for that section. Then click Done. (If your playlist doesn't appear, you may need to specify the playlist by inserting the URL to the playlist.) Repeat for each section you want to add.

    Customizing a section to show a single playlist

    For more details, see Customize channel layout and Organize content with channel sections.

    Note that YouTube allows you to add a variety of section types to your channel, but not all section types will display in your Amazon Creator app. The following are the section options available in YouTube:

    Section options

    Only the following section types will appear in your Amazon Creator app:

    • Single playlist
    • Uploads (displays as "Latest Videos" in the category nav bar)
    • Popular Uploads (displays as "Popular Videos" in the category nav bar)
    • Multiple playlists
    • Created playlists (displays as "All Playlists" in the category nav bar)

    Other section types will be ignored by Amazon Creator.

Hide the Latest Category from the Navigation Bar

Your channel's homepage needs to have some video content in order for the "Latest" option in the app's category navigation bar to populate with content. If no content appears on your channel homepage, your app will show a "No Content Found" message to users, or worse, your app may generate a playback error.

No Content Found
No Content Found

To avoid this scenario, add some video content on your channel's homepage by following the instructions in the previous section, Group Videos into Playlists in Your App's Category Navigation Bar.

However, if you have valid reasons for omitting video content from your channel's homepage, you can hide the "Latest" option from the category navigation bar. To hide the Latest category:

  1. Click Manage Apps.
  2. In your app details, next to "Source," click Advanced.
  3. In the Categories Navigation Bar Options section, next to "Display Latest Category?", select No.

Re-enable a Hidden YouTube Channel

If you hid your YouTube channel, you need to re-enable the channel to use it with Amazon Creator.