Amazon partners with Viacom – is Netflix nervous?

amazon_instant_videoAmazon is continuing its quest to corner a piece of the content streaming market with its new Viacom partnership. The new deal will offer Amazon Prime members the ability to instantly access TV shows from MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, TV Land, Spike, VH1, BET, CMT, and Logo.

Netflix and Hulu are feeling a little pressure from Amazon. By wrapping the amount of content it does into its Amazon Prime service, it’s marketing itself to a wider variety of consumers than these competitors. Given its hold over the e-commerce industry, it’s making a pretty tempting pitch by offering not only upgraded Amazon shopping features (like free two-day shipping on tons of products) but access to its streaming services for $79 a year.

Of course, Amazon Prime Instant Video isn’t available across consoles like Hulu and Netflix are. It is, however, accessible via Roku, Boxee, Google TV, and obviously with the help of an HDMI cable, to name a few options.

And with this big step up in content it’s more and more looking like a viable option. Amazon already partners with Fox Broadcasting, NBC Universal, Sony, CBS, Warner Bros, PBS, and Disney-ABC – and content is commercial-free.

Amazon may be coming from behind in this market, but Netflix is fully aware of the damage it could cause them. During its last earnings report, the company acknowledged Amazon was making noticeable strides and will continue to challenge them. Netflix still has one important weapon in its arsenal, and that’s content. But this new partnership is hinting that Amazon has some momentum.

All’s been quiet on the Hulu sale front for quite awhile now, but we can’t help thinking what could have been (or still could be) if Amazon were to buy the competitor service. Even the idea of that TV and video catalog with the benefits of a Prime membership should make Netflix sweat.