8:14am PT by Rick Porter
Amazon Lifts Prime Video Paywall for Kids' Programming
Amazon is making a host of kids' and family programs available for free to all its customers as millions of children are unable to go to school due to coronavirus quarantines.
The tech behemoth has lifted the paywall for original and acquired children's series on its Prime Video platform, so that all Amazon users can view them with or without a Prime membership.
Among the titles now available for free are original shows including Pete the Cat, Just Add Magic, Costume Quest, Peg + Cat and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and acquired shows including PBS Kids staples Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Dinosaur Train, Odd Squad and Arthur.
The Amazon-owned IMDB also has a curated list of free (with ads) family movies available for viewing, including Shrek, Little Giants and Stuart Little. The list of titles is here; users have to sign in with a free Amazon account to watch.
The initiative comes as school districts across the country and around the world are closed in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The Los Angeles Unified School District announced Monday that campuses would remain closed through May 1.
Hundreds of TV productions have shut down in the wake of the pandemic, ranging from scripted comedies and dramas to daytime talk shows. Late-night hosts have taken to releasing short monologues from their homes; Conan O'Brien will begin hosting his TBS show from his home on March 30, with guests appearing via video feed and crewmembers working remotely.