is serious about shoring up its catalog of streaming titles, so much so that it went and cut its biggest check ever for a subscription-streaming license. The Prime video provider struck a deal with Viacom
, forking over more than $200 million to secure the rights to hundreds of kids' shows, including the wildly popular Spongebob Squarepants and Dora the Explorer franchises.
Citing a "person familiar with the deal," Reuters
says the deal is good for more than two years and includes a deeper library of titles than what Netflix
previously had access to. Speaking of which, the timing of the deal comes only a few days after Netflix stopped streaming Nickelodeon shows, as that deal just expired.
Amazon gains access to around 4,000 TV episodes, all of which it's able to stream for free to its Prime Instant Video customers. Prime service runs $79 per year, which not only includes streaming videos, but also free two-day shipping on a large selection of items. That's not something Netflix is in a position to compete with.
Amazon wasted no time bragging about the deal on its website. If you head over to the company's Prime Instant Video portal, up top is a row of titles under the heading, "Prime Member Exclusives: Not on Netflix," with Spongebob, Dora, Blues Clues, and iClarly prominently displayed.