Amazon has been making strides as a major streaming platform for a couple of years now. But the business has been turned upside down and streaming giants are being forced to rethink their strategies with respect to how they offer their programming. Now Amazon has announced that it will provide free streaming access to more than 40 children's shows, some of which are original series, to worldwide customers.

In the past, the streaming content would be hidden behind a paywall, only accessible to Prime Video customers, which not every potential viewer is in a position to buy a subscription for. But with more and more families staying cooped up, with dwindling funds and children desperate for any kind of distraction, Amazon has freed up a lot of its kid-friendly programming as a gesture of goodwill.

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The available shows include Just Add Magic, Pete the Cat, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, select seasons of PBS Kids shows including Arthur, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Odd Squad and Wild Kratts. The availability of the programs will be subject to the region in which they are being accessed, meaning not all the available titles will be visible to each viewer around the world.

To watch the shows, you will need to have a valid Amazon account, which can be created for free. Amazon set up a landing page for the free children's programming at this link.

The move will be a welcome one for parents looking to keep their children distracted from the events taking place outside their homes, where the world continues to grapple with the fallout from the pandemic caused by the virus.

On the one hand, the film industry has ground to a halt worldwide, with every new theater release being delayed indefinitely, and films and shows that were in production being canceled midway. So huge are the losses dealt out by the emergency that experts are questioning whether the film world will be able to ever truly recover.

On the other hand, online streaming is growing by leaps and bounds, as audiences turn to the internet as the only safe source of entertainment for which you don't need to go outside. So many people are logging in to watch online movies that governments have had to ask platforms like Netflix to reduce the quality of their videos to free up bandwidth for emergency internet services.

It's not just kids' content, movies and shows aimed at adults are also finding greater prominence online. Several movies that were released in theaters mere weeks ago are soon going to be available online, like the new Bad Boys movie, Onwards, The Invisibly Man, and Birds of Prey. As the quarantine lockdown tightens its grip on the world over the next few weeks, there will be a greater demand than ever for online content, and that might give Streaming platforms the viewership edge they need to claim a decisive and permanent advantage over the film industry. This comes to us from Variety.

Neeraj Chand