Amazon doubles down on pilots for original kids shows
Following an order for three children's programs from its first round of original TV pilots, Amazon is asking for five more for kids, as online video outfits vie for an audience that keeps subscribers in the fold.
Amazon, and its bigger rival in online streaming video, Netflix, have been one-upping each other over kids content, both. When Netflix let its licensing deal with Viacom, including popular kids programs like "Dora the Explorer," lapse, . Netflix returned with a deal for a trove of .
The programs have appeared to take a bite out of regular TV viewing. Netflix's earlier abundance of Nickelodeon items in its library has been blamed as part of the reason Viacom's ratings on the channel struggled last year.
Satisfying kids' yen to watch their favorite characters -- and often the exact same show -- over and over has proven to be powerful way for online subscription video services to keep subscribers from defecting. And as players like Netflix grow as big as they have, keeping subscribers becomes as important as winning new ones.
Earlier this year, Amazonand then : "Annebots," "Creative Galaxy," and Tumbleaf" to run exclusively on its site later this year and early next year.
As it did in its first round of pilots, the new ones will stream on Amazon Instant Video and Lovefilm in the U.K. for customers to watch, provide feedback, and help determine which shows should be produced as series.
The new pilots include live-action and animated programming for older children ages 6 to 11 years old and continuing with programming for preschool-aged children.