Amazon has announced a new partnership with Viacom which allows Amazon Prime members and Kindle Fire owners to stream unlimited television onto their devices.
Extending Amazon's partnership to include streaming puts them ahead of the race against Netflix and the new Verizon and Redbox partnership as the retail giant looks to capitalize on a market wanting more TV on demand.
Viacom's distribution list reads as a who's who of television and film. Its brands include MTV, VH1, CMT, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, COMEDY CENTRAL and SPIKE and their reach spans to 160 media networks with almost 700 million global subscribers.
This deal will bring the total number of Prime Instant Videos to more than 15,000 and will be viewable on over 300 different devices. For only $79 a year, the Amazon Prime membership comes in at a lower price point than Netflix or Hulu Plus. With the addition of live streaming, it far surpasses the value of Netflix, which charges a higher rate of $15.98 a month for that privilege.
It's estimated that there are five million Amazon Prime subscribers and six million Kindle Fires were sold in Q4. If you count for some proportion of overlap, over eight million people could benefit from this partnership immediately.
This does give the Kindle Fire a competitive edge in terms of the tablet market. The trend of content sellers becoming device makers is enabling companies like Amazon to have a greater advantage. As the likes of Amazon continue to partner with large scale distribution companies, it looks like they may surpass the current contenders, such as Netflix, that only provide the service and not the product.