Thursday, February 09, 2012 adds Viacom content to Prime Instant Video selections

A lesson learned from the death of HD-DVD: it's all about content. And on Wednesday announced a deal with Viacom that will raise the number of titles available in its Prime Instant Videos service to over 15,000. That would be three times the number of titles the service launched with.

The deal will give Amazon Prime members the ability to instantly stream (hence the name, Prime Instant Videos) television shows from MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, TV Land, Spike, VH1, BET, CMT and Logo.

Amazon Prime is one of the company's cash cows. For $79 annually, Prime members have always gotten free two-day shipping on most items (those sold or fulfilled by as well as lower-cost upgraded one-day shipping. In addition they have access to Prime Instant Videos, which are a subset of the video selections available from's Amazon Instant Video.

In addition, Prime members who are also Kindle owners get access to the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, from which they can borrow books as frequently once a month, with no due dates.

The additional content brings's video selection and its service closer toward directly competing with Netflix. It's also been rumored that might split the Prime Instant Video service away from its Prime service, meaning you could get it without a Prime subscription.

It's not clear, however, if a split would be all that great a move. At $79 annually, it's already cheaper than Netflix' streaming-only service.

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