Amazon snatches Viacom on-demand deal leaving Netflix facing parent ire

Amazon has sealed a deal with Viacom, bringing a clutch of new shows – including Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go! – to Prime Instant Video, and potentially dropping Netflix in even hotter water with angry parents. The deal, which will see Amazon add Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTC, and Comedy Central shows to its on-demand catalog, follows the expiration of Netflix's licensing agreement with Viacom last month, which prompted outcry from some subscribers after the shows their children watched regularly suddenly disappeared from the listings.

Exact terms of the deal are unconfirmed, though it's described as a "multi-year, multi-national" agreement. Amazon has already said that LOVEFiLM subscribers in the UK and Germany will see "some" of the shows covered as part of today's agreement, though they'll have to wait until later in the summer before they're available.

Amazon's content will be available on the Kindle Fire, as well as through iOS devices and Roku's set-top boxes. Consoles will also be catered for, together with some smart TVs. Instant Prime membership is part of Amazon's Prime program, priced at $79 per year.

Access to content has become the new sparring ground for on-demand providers, with who has the biggest and broadest catalog being an important factor as viewers shop around for the best deal. Netflix discovered to its cost last month that suddenly losing access to shows – particularly those aimed at kids – could quickly raise the ire of subscribers, who have become used to being able to show their children certain programs.

After Netflix lost the deal with Viacom, many parents threatened to leave and sign up with the next service to offer the coveted shows; alternatively, there were suggestions that some could turn to illegal downloads instead. Netflix is yet to comment on the Viacom deal with Amazon.