Amazon signs new licensing deal with Viacom to expand exclusive TV content on Prime Instant Video

Amazon signs new licensing deal with Viacom to expand exclusive TV content on Prime Instant Video

Amazon announced a new licensing agreement with Viacom today that will bring thousands of new TV episodes to its subscription-based on-demand streaming service Prime Instant Video.

The new multi-year, multi-national deal means that Amazon will be able to give its users exclusive streaming access to a number of different shows – although specific series have not yet been specified.

Amazon lists popular kids programming such as Bubble Guppies, The Backyardigans, Team Umizoomi, Blue’s Clues and Victorious, alongside popular shows such as Awkward, Tosh.0 and Workaholics from MTV and Comedy Central as just a smattering of new content that will now be available as a result of the deal.

Prime Instant Video subscribers are also being promised future episodes of Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, Fairly Odd Parents and Fresh Beat Band as part of the expanded Viacom partnership.

LOVEFiLM users in the UK and Germany, the movie rental and on-demand streaming service owned by Amazon, will get “some” of these shows later this summer, continuing the rather embarrassing gap in content that is prevalent in regions outside of the US.

Amazon also announced today that it would be adding a number of TV shows from Nickelodeon and Nick JR. to Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, a mobile app that offers children a selection of books, videos and apps to explore on the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD.

“We are thrilled to be extending and deepening our relationship with Amazon,” said Philippe Dauman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom. “This innovative agreement will provide Prime members with access to even more of our best programming from our major television brands, including many digital video subscription streaming exclusives.”

Amazon continues to push Prime Instant Video as a viable alternative to on-demand streaming service Netflix in the US. Both are keen to win over new subscribers and persuade viewers that they have a superior content offering. This has triggered a territorial battle for “exclusives”, whereby each company enters tantalizing agreements with content creators and network operators to bring new shows to its library.

The result, increasingly, is a fragmented content offering across both services which actually lowers consumers’ perceived values of the services. Both companies have therefore started supplementing this approach with its own content – House of Cards being the most notable example for Netflix – to showcase why it could be worth ditching cable television entirely.

Amazon recently green-lighted five original series created by Amazon Studios, its division for developing exclusive movies, comics and television shows, following 14 pilot episodes that were free for viewers to watch and review earlier this year.

 Image Credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

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