Looks like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is making some new friends -- some with a gentler vocabulary than others. 

Viacom (NYSE:VIA) became the latest video titan to warm up to Netflix's online streaming platform, which the DVD rental specialist provides to active subscribers at no additional cost. Between raunchy episodes of South Park and kid-friendly Nickelodeon fare like pop sensation iCarly and the infectious SpongeBob SquarePants, the Netflix service just became even more valuable to subscribers.

One can argue that Netflix didn't need Cartman and Squidward on its team. The company has been bucking the recessionary trend without Viacom's animated attractions, tacking on subscribers during this economic downturn. 

However, the new additions provide just one more reason for Netflix to merit respect as a digital video juggernaut worth emulation. As recently as two years ago, investors wondered whether Netflix would disappear once the optical disc faded in popularity. These days, no one asks that anymore.

Netflix has been able to beef up both ends of its digital distribution strategy. It has partnered with existing set-top devices like TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) and Xbox maker Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to make Web streaming portable, all the way into the Wi-Fi-connected home theater.

Netflix has also been working on content, with 12,000 digital titles -- and counting -- now available through Netflix. Major studios may still be reluctant to practically give away their latest releases, but does it matter? Sites like Netflix and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube have been shaking hands with studios to the point that new releases are likely to suffer anyway. There are only so many eyeballs to go around, you know.

"Are you ready, kids?" begins every SpongeBob SquarePants episode. And Netflix is definitely ready.

Other Netflix-ish headlines:

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been a Netflix shareholder -- and subscriber -- since 2002. He also owns shares in TiVo. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.