Amazon today announced it's exclusively adding "thousands of TV episodes from Viacom to Prime Instant Video." The content is mostly kids programming, with shows like Dora the Explorer and Blue's Clues. Those are coveted shows for streaming services, and up until late May they were on Netflix. Amazon has also snagged up other Viacom properties more attuned to adults, including Tosh.0 and several other shows from MTV and Comedy Central.
A source close to the deal characterized it as amounting in the hundreds of millions of dollars, though an exact figure wasn't disclosed in Amazon's announcement. It is a "multi-year, multi-national" agreement and the largest video deal Amazon has ever landed — both in terms of cost and in the number of episodes it's added to its libary in a single shot. In its announcement, Amazon was quick to note that the shows would be available on its Kindle Freetime Unlimited service, a $2.99-per-month subscription that offers Prime members different books, apps, movies, and shows for kids.
Though Netflix apparently wasn't able to renew its deal for Viacom's kid's programming, it's not left in a lurch: it still will have Disney's programming in its stable beginning in 2016. In the meantime, Amazon seems to have a strong advantage in the surprisingly important genre of children's TV. Both companies have been making strong plays in independently produced shows for adults — and the combo of Amazon's own original children's programming plus this new deal with Viacom could give it a big advantage over Netflix.