Amazon just announced that it is adding its X-Ray feature to TV shows. The feature already worked with movies thanks to data from IMDb, but the company will now use this very same data for other video content. The entire Kindle Fire family will receive the feature and the Amazon Instant Video app on Wii U will get is as well.
As a reminder, X-Ray allows you to discover more about the content you are reading or watching. It first appeared with books — it shows you the different characters, where they appear in the book and how they are related to the story. Then Amazon added X-Ray to movies back in September 2012. In that case, watchers can instantly know the name of an actor in a scene. IMDb is owned by Amazon, allowing the Kindle team to tap into a very comprehensive movie database. As IMDb provides data for TV shows as well, adding TV shows to X-Ray was just a matter of time.
The idea is to make the video experience unique on Amazon’s devices, making people want to buy those tablets or download those Amazon apps and stay in the Amazon ecosystem. It’s been known that Amazon doesn’t make much profit from selling hardware. Instead, it wants people to use the Kindle Fire tablets to buy content.
Of course, the X-Ray feature only works with videos you buy or rent from Amazon Instant Video or videos from the Amazon Prime collection. X-Ray could be one of those little features that make you choose to watch a movie or TV show on Amazon over Netflix or iTunes.
In addition to providing the X-Ray feature to Kindle Fire users, the feature will make its way to Amazon Instant Video’s Wii U app. This fact shows that what matters for Amazon is that people consume content from Amazon, even if it’s not on an Amazon-branded device. X-Ray for movies and TV shows may eventually come to Android and iOS as X-Ray for books is already available in many Kindle apps.
X-Ray is more important than you may think at first. If the experience is not compelling enough, customers will neglect their tablets and Amazon won’t make any money from those users. That’s why Amazon cut the price of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ as well from $299 to $269 for the base model. It’s still the best way to tap into Amazon’s ecosystem. Amazon now wants to get the best tablet they can make in everyone’s hand so that people can start reading and watching content — Amazon’s content.