Amazon Studios Boosts Content Offering with Hysteria - Analyst Blog

A A A Inc. ( AMZN ) announced that its film production division - Amazon Studios - plans to add a dramatic thriller - Hysteria - written by Shaun Cassidy to its third pilot season.

Hysteria features girls' dance teams where some members suffer from a mysterious psycho-physiological illness that seems to be spreading through social media. The cast includes Mena Suvari, James McDaniel, Josh Stewart, Adan Canto, Laura San Giacomo, T.R. Knight, Ella Rae Peck and Jenessa Grant.

Management stated that Hysteria will debut later this year and join other original shows including Really written and directed by Jay Chandrasekhar; The Cosmopolitans by Whit Stillman and Hand of God starring Ron Perlman.

The pilots will be available for free on Amazon Instant Video streaming service. Amazon Studios will decide which shows to produce, going forward, depending on viewers' feedback. Amazon Instant Video is a digital video streaming and download service that lets users rent, buy or subscribe to a range of video content.

Amazon has been firing on all cylinders to boost its digital media sales and attract new users. In this regard, the company is focusing on comedy and kids' programs to expand its content line-up and make Prime Instant video service more attractive to viewers.

The pilots, once completed, will be exclusively available to Prime members through Prime Instant Video and Lovefilm in the U.K, at no additional charges.

Last year, Amazon Studios released Alpha House and Betas , its first prime-time shows. Alpha House received positive response and so more episodes were broadcast, whereas Betas was called off after the first season.

These pilots will further extend the archive of comedy shows available on Amazon's video streaming library, making it a significant force in the segment and increasing competition for Netflix Inc. ( NFLX ) and Apple Inc. ( AAPL ). At the same time, it will help Amazon to expand its footprint into the growing streaming market at a much faster rate.

Amazon is one of the major players in an extremely fast-growing market. In the first quarter, Amazon's revenues of $19.74 billion were within its guided range but surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Management attributed the increase in revenues to the growing consumption of digital content across different categories owing to the advantageous value proposition that it offered.

Currently, Amazon carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Another stock that looks attractive is Exar Corp. ( EXAR ), sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: AMZN , AAPL , NFLX , EXAR

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