June 4 - Amazon writes its biggest streaming video check ever to Viacom as it adds Dora, SpongeBob SquarePants and Diego to digital content available for Prime Instant Video customers. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Your Daily Digit today is $200 million. That's how much online retailer Amazon is paying to media company Viacom for a multi-year video streaming deal. A person familiar with the transaction says it's Amazon's largest digital licensing buy ever. With that $200 million, Amazon is giving its Prime Instant Video clients access to about 4,000 TV episodes, mostly kids' TV shows, like Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, Go Diego Go!, Blue's Clues and The Backyardigans. And shopping for the youngest viewer doesn't come as a surprise. Kids' shows are among the most-watched programs on Amazon, according to the company. Another reason why Amazon is on a video content shopping spree, is competition with Netflix and Hulu. Amazon has a growing appetite for a piece of the fast-growing market for TV and movies delivered over the Internet and on mobile devices.