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Reuters: Amazon Prime Instant Video close to Viacom deal, standalone service launch

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So far, 2012 has been quiet for Amazon's all-you-can-eat video streaming service, but that could change soon as Reuters cites anonymous sources claiming the retailer will lock up a deal with Viacom (Paramount Studios, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike, etc.) soon. That would reportedly be one of the final steps to launching Prime Instant Video as a standalone service, just as Netflix had suggested in its last earnings report. With details still scarce it's hard to say exactly what shape these competitors to the streaming crown will take, but between Amazon, Hulu, Redbox / Verizon, Google, whatever Apple may be up to as well as a fight from Sky and Lovefilm in the UK, it should be a very interesting year.

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