Amazon Extends X-Ray Feature to TV - Analyst Blog

E-commerce giant, Inc. ( AMZN ) announced the expansion of its X-Ray for movies feature to TV shows viewed on Kindle Fire HD tablets through Amazon Instant Video.

Amazon Instant Video is a digital video streaming and download service that lets users rent, buy or subscribe to a range of video content. The X-Ray feature will allow Kindle Fire users to find out the names of the TV actors appearing on screen and see their most popular movies/TV shows, with just a tap on the screen. The X-Ray feature is already available on Kindle Fire HD tablets for movies. This feature is powered by information from IMDb.

IMDb, or the Internet movie database is a popular source for movie, TV and celebrity content owned by Amazon. It includes data and features related to more than 130 million entertainment items, more than 2 million movies, TV shows and other programs. IMDb has more than 160 million monthly unique visitors worldwide.

The X-Ray service is available on the latest Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD hardware and is also part of the Amazon Instant Video app for Wii U. The feature will be available for most popular TV shows such as Justified, Downton Abbey, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. The company stated that it plans to expand the number of TV shows with X-Ray.

Amazon has been undertaking strategic measures like adding and upgrading features and targeting key markets to generate higher revenues. It has been expanding its video offerings to compete with Netflix ( NFLX ), Huluand other rivals. It has not only inked exclusive deals for shows like "Justified," but is also starting to create original content. Amazon also allowed users to subscribe to its Prime service on a monthly basis instead of its original annual subscription.

The tablet market is extremely competitive and Amazon cannot afford to miss out on any opportunity to grow its still-small customer base. As per a report by IDC, 52.5 million units of tablets were shipped in 2012, which witnessed a 75.3% jump from the year-ago quarter. Apple led the market followed by Samsung, Amazon and others.

Amazon's Kindle Fire still has a long way to go. However, Amazon is more concerned with the sale of digital goods (books, video and so on) through its Kindle platform. Unlike the other tablet makers, Amazon is primarily a retailer.

Therefore, its Kindle strategy is first and foremost intended to help product sales (primarily digital goods). Its Kindle platform is intended to protect and grow these sales and the strategy has proved successful thus far.

Amazon's fourth quarter revenues of $21.3 billion were up sequentially as well as from the year-ago quarter. Management attributed the increase in revenues to the growing consumption of digital content across different categories owing to the advantageous value proposition Amazon was able to provide to its customers.

Amazon currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks that have been performing well and are worth considering include Intersil Corp. ( ISIL ) and KLA-Tencor ( KLAC ), all carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (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 Nasdaq, Inc.

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

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