Viacom Turns to Amazon for Big Streaming Deal

Supplants Netflix as key online distributor of kids shows
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0

With its streaming video deal with Netflix expiring, Viacom
has announced a major multiyear video licensing agreement with Amazon.

The deal puts hundreds of TV shows and thousands of episodes
on Amazon's Prime Instant Video. Some of that programming will be exclusively
available to Amazon.

In April, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the company would
not renew its licensing deal with Viacom, and would instead focus on exclusive
content rather than non-exclusive bulk deals. The deal expired at the end of
May.

The Netflix deal brought in hundreds of millions of dollars
in revenues for Viacom, but Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said
on the company's earnings call
with analysts in May that he expected
streaming revenue to continue to grow.

A Viacom spokesman said the company continues to talk to
Netflix about content not exclusively carried by Amazon and does business with
Netflix outside the U.S.

The Viacom programming on Amazon includes popular kids programming such
as Bubble Guppies, The Backyardigans, Team Umizoomi, Blue's Clues and Victorious. It also includes shows from MTV and
Comedy Central like Awkward, Tosh.0 and Workaholics.

Some
analysts have expressed concern that by making kids shows available online,
Viacom risks weakening its Nickelodeon cable franchise. Though Nickelodeon's
ratings plummeted a year ago, the company said viewership has been rebounding
recently.

Prime
members will also have access to future episodes of Dora the Explorer,
SpongeBob SquarePants, Fairly Odd Parents and Fresh Beat Band.

Select shows from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. will be available
in Kindle FreeTime
Unlimited
, a service built for kids. The service is designed
to allow kids 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, the companies said.

"Kids
shows are one of the most watched TV genres on Prime Instant Video," Bill Carr,
VP of digital video and music for Amazon, said in a statement. "And this
expanded deal will now bring customers the largest subscription selection of
Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. TV shows online, anywhere . . . 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
Dauman. "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."

Related