Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) inked a multi-year deal with Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB ) on Tuesday that gives the e-tailer exclusive rights to hundreds of children's shows, including popular programs such as "Dora the Explorer" and "Blue's Clues." The deal gives Amazon an edge against Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) in the all-important children's content category. This comes after Netflix failed to renew its contract with Viacom last month in favor of more affordable offerings from Disney.
Why kids matter
It makes sense that both Netflix and Amazon are making big bets on children's programming. For one thing, kids' shows and video streaming go hand-in-hand. Viewing your favorite shows anywhere, anytime has never been easier, thanks to a rise in mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
Parents of young kids are increasingly turning to content streamed on portable devices for entertaining their little ones on the go. It's not surprising, then, that "kids' shows are one of the most-watched TV genres on Prime Instant Video," according to Bill Carr, VP of Digital Video and Music for Amazon.
Additionally, Netflix and Amazon have a better chance of getting adults hooked on their original content offerings if those adults already subscribe for their children's sake. Separately, Alyssa Rosenberg from Thinkprogress points out that, with Amazon and Netflix adding popular kids' shows to their streaming libraries, consumers may be more willing to cut the cord with traditional cable networks.
With kids' shows fueling the shift from pay-cable TV to on-demand video streaming, children's programming is the new front line in the content wars. However, we'll have to stay tuned to see if Amazon's new content lineup can help it poach viewers from Netflix service.
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