Netflix and Amazon step up battle for kids’ eyeballs over summer vacation

Netflix (s NFLX) and Amazon (s AMZN) would prefer your kids stay out of the sun this summer, thanks. Rather, both companies sent out announcements pimping their family offerings Tuesday that indirectly referred to the ways their product is superior to their competitor’s.

First up, Amazon announced it’s added “more than a thousand books, games, educational apps, movies and TV shows to Kindle FreeTime Unlimited,” its monthly subscription streaming offering for kids. Not surprisingly, Amazon didn’t provide subscriber numbers — though Kindle VP Peter Larsen said “the vast majority of our customers who take advantage of our one month free trial of FreeTime Unlimited choose to subscribe and enjoy our content library built just for kids.”

Of course, Amazon’s announcement refers to the Viacom (s VIA) shows that it grabbed exclusive rights to after Netflix lost them: “Among the content on FreeTime Unlimited are “exclusive Nick Jr. favorites from Viacom such as Dora The Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!, Blue’s Clues and The Backyardigans.”

Then Netflix announced that it’s launched a separate section of its site called Netflix Families, which “helps parents with the daunting task of entertaining kids this summer.” The site offers family recommendations in different categories (“family movie night,” etc.) as well as videos from parents about how they are “embracing the ease and flexibility of Netflix.” And Netflix notes that “Netflix works on almost any device with a broadband, WiFi or mobile data connection” — while Kindle FreeTime Unlimited is only available for the Kindle Fire.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock / jwblinn