The agreement provides Amazon with “hundreds of TV shows and thousands of TV episodes” including “a collection of TV shows that customers won’t find on any other digital video subscription service,” the companies say. But it’s especially interesting because it comes days after Viacom’s streaming carriage agreement with Netflix expired. Although execs said last week that they’re still negotiating, Netflix made it clear that it now favors deals that would give it exclusive access to programming. “We valued [Viacom's] content for sure, we just disagreed about the value of the content,” Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told investors at the Nomura U.S. Media & Telecom Summit. “We’re into a whole new space about what people are watching and what it’s worth.” But Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman told the same gathering that he doesn’t want to be tied down. “There isn’t a player or potential player doesn’t come by our door and we work with all of them.” Streaming, he added, “is a continuing good overall opportunity for us and any growth opportunity for us.” Viacom shares are up about 2% in early trading. Here’s today’s release:
SEATTLE and NEW YORK—June 4, 2013—Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB and VIA) today announced an expanded multi-year, multi-national digital video licensing agreement to bring hundreds of TV shows and thousands of TV episodes from Viacom to Prime Instant Video. This deal includes a collection of TV shows that customers won’t find on any other digital video subscription service. Prime members will now have unlimited instant streaming access to popular kids programming such as Bubble Guppies, The Backyardigans, Team Umizoomi, Blue’s Clues and Victorious, along with top-rated shows from MTV and COMEDY CENTRAL like Awkward, Tosh.0 and Workaholics. Prime members will also have access to future episodes of Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, Fairly Odd Parents, Fresh Beat Band and more. LOVEFiLM customers in the UK and Germany will get some of the same great shows later this summer.
Select shows from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. will be available in Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, a service built just for kids that gives them the freedom to explore all their favorite books, games, educational apps, movies and TV shows, while providing parents with the tools they need to manage their kids’ screen time.
“Kids shows are one of the most watched TV genres on Prime Instant Video,” said Bill Carr, VP of Digital Video and Music for Amazon. “And this expanded deal will now bring customers the largest subscription selection of Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. TV shows online, anywhere. With programs like Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, Bubble Guppies and The Backyardigans there are hundreds of great shows for kids and parents to choose from. In addition, we are bringing customers popular shows from MTV and COMEDY CENTRAL like Key & Peele, Workaholics, Awkward and Teen Mom 2, with the promise of more shows from these networks in the future.”
“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 has created a unique, brand-friendly environment for streaming entertainment and consumer products and we are excited to work with Amazon to bring customers shows they love.”