Feb. 8, 2012 at 2:52 PM ET
While Netflix is doing all it can to just avoid losing any subscribers, Amazon appears to be focused on building partnerships in order to create a rather appealing video streaming service — which could easily make things even more difficult for Netflix. Amazon's latest move? A deal with Viacom, which will add TV shows from MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, TV Land, Spike, VH1, BET, CMT and Logo to Amazon's Prime Instant Videos.
Prime Instant Videos is a service offered to members of Amazon Prime — a $79/year membership program that includes benefits such as free two-day shipping — at no additional cost. It allows Amazon Prime members to stream more than 15,000 movies and TV shows to Kindle Fire devices, many Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players or computers.
And thanks to the new deal with Viacom — as well as prior deals with CBS, Fox, PBS, NBCUniversal, Sony, Warner Bros, Disney-ABC Television and others — there's some pretty decent content from which to choose. TV shows that will be added over the next few months include "The Hills," "Jersey Shore," "The Hard Times of RJ Berger," "The Real World," "Chappelle's Show," "The Sarah Silverman Program," "iCarly," "Dora the Explorer," "SpongeBob SquarePants," "Yo Gabba Gabba" and more.
These new additions should be enough to make the folks at Netflix a bit nervous, but it's worth noting that that streaming service still has some advantages over Amazon Instant Videos. Netflix supports several devices which Amazon doesn't, including gaming consoles (such as Microsoft's Xbox 360, Nintendo's Wii and Sony's PS3), for example. But that — as well as some other differences — might easily be overlooked as customers realize that Amazon's selection is growing.
After all, Amazon Prime Instant Videos is part of a membership that includes plenty of other perks — and it still costs less per year than a Netflix subscription.
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