Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN - Analyst Report) recently announced that four female stars are set to join the cast of Amazon’s Original Series Alpha House. They are Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City), Amy Sedaris (Strangers with Candy), a comedian Wanda Sykes (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Julie White (Go On).
Alpha House, written by Garry Trudeau, was one of the five pilots chosen from a group of 14 to be produced by Amazon’s film production division, Amazon Studios.
Alpha House is a political comedy about four senators who live in a rented house in Washington DC. The other four pilots include, Betas, a comedy about start-up culture in Silicon Valley; Annebots, a children show about robots; Creative Galaxy, an animated art adventure series and Tumbleaf, a show about a small blue fox named Fig.
Management stated that these new series will be available by the end of this year and in early 2014 on the Amazon Instant Video streaming service, where viewers can watch them free of cost.
Amazon Instant Video is a digital video streaming and download service that lets users rent, buy or subscribe to a range of video content. These television series will extend the archive of comedy and children shows on Amazon's video streaming library, making it a significant force in the video streaming segment and increasing the competition for Netflix Inc. (NFLX - Analyst Report) and Apple Inc. (AAPL - Analyst Report).
Many technology companies, including Hulu and Netflix, are getting into content production in order to reduce their reliance on traditional media companies. Amazon is also one of the several big streaming services working on original content. We believe these efforts will bring in millions of dollars and help the company to increase its market share.
Apart from developing its own original series, Amazon has also been beefing up its Prime Instant Video service through major licensing agreements. The company recently won the exclusive streaming rights to the PBS hit drama, Downton Abbey, FX's Justified and the upcoming CBS show, Under the Dome.
Though Amazon remains one of the leading players in the fast-growing e-commerce market, it reported a loss of 1 cent in the second quarter and missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5 cents. Also, revenues of $15.70 billion were down 2.3% sequentially but up 22.4% from the year-ago quarter.
Amazon currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Another stock, Yahoo (YHOO - Analyst Report), has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and is worth considering.