Viacom & Amazon Are Close To Combining Powers Against Netflix In Video Service Deal

The video world, much like love, is a battlefield these days, with everyone pointing their guns at Netflix. On the heels of the Verizon/Redbox joint venture offering streaming video and DVD rentals, Viacom and Amazon are said to be close to signing on the dotted line in their effort to launch a standalone video subscription service.

Reuters says Amazon will be announcing the Web video deal with Viacom this week. Previously, Viacom had said they’d be starting up something with someone at some point, but had refused to kiss and tell.

They’re starting out pretty stacked in the video department already — Viacom owns tons of content from MTV Networks, Nickelodeon and Paramount Studios already, and Amazon has licensed programming for its Amazon Instant Prime service from many major studios like CBS, Warner Bros and Walt Disney.

So far the only draw for Prime Instant Video has been for those who are paying the Prime fee of $79 a year for free shipping on things they buy. But this new service would likely be for non-Prime members as well, in an effort to boost the content for its Kindle Fire tablet.

There’s no word yet if the venture between Viacom and Amazon would somehow also involve mailed DVDs. The other horses in the video race, Verizon and Redbox, are going to offer streaming video as well as physical DVDs to be picked up at Redbox kiosks. In preparation, Redbox gobbled up all the Blockbuster Express kiosks for $100 million.

Amazon and Viacom close to a Web video deal [Reuters]