Amazon is set to announce a web video deal with Viacom, according to a report this afternoon by Reuters — which describes the deal as one of the final steps prior to Amazon launching a standalone video subscription service.
The move would boost Amazon’s competition with Netflix, which has said in the past that Amazon isn’t making a noticeable dent in its business.
Amazon currently offers videos for download and rental through its Amazon Instant Video service, and Amazon Prime subscribers have access to a portion of that catalog at no-extra charge as part of their $79/year subscription fee.
The Seattle company is counting on subscriptions and content sales to help make up for the low price of its $199 Kindle Fire tablet, which it’s selling at or near cost in an effort to gain market share.
Earlier this week, Verizon and Coinstar’s Redbox unit announced a streaming video partnership, in another potential challenge to Netflix.