Amazon is launching a new rollout on its Fire TV platform with a greater focus on free streaming and live content. The company announced on March 3 that it will integrate several new services into the “live” category of Fire TV, including XUMO, its IMDb TV, and the Amazon news app. Also, Plex will be added soon.
According to Amazon, all four services are free with ads and do not require a subscription. These channels and their content appear in the On Now column on the Fire TV Live tab, as well as in the Fire TV app’s Universal Channel Guide.
With this addition, Amazon says more than 400 channels livestreamed from 20 providers are now available on Fire TV’s Live Channel Guide. These services include YouTube TV, Sling TV, Tubi, Pluto TV, Philo, Prime Video Channels, Prime Video Live Events (Thursday Night Football, etc.).
Amazon also emphasizes that more than 200 of those channels are ad-supported and free to watch and don’t require a subscription.
Free livestreaming content is a competition between the top two streaming media platforms in the United States, Amazon and Roku, but their approaches are different in terms of format.
Amazon’s free live content section is part of the Fire TV’s overall interface, and you can see the list without having to launch separate channels. This speaks to Amazon’s design philosophy that the entire Fire TV feels like a streaming service.
“We’ve always taken a content-forward approach when designing the Fire TV. When you turn on your TV, you’ll see content such as shows, movies, and sports instead of a line of apps. “It will be done,” said Sandeep Gupta, VP and GM of Amazon Fire TV. “This philosophy extends to our approach to live content. We continue to invest heavily in live TV, as do our content partners. This time around, we’re integrating new services and supporting Alexa. We’ll take that even further by adding an enhanced content discovery mechanism, “he continued.
Meanwhile, Roku offers its own hub, called “The Roku Channel,” which delivers free-on-display movies and TV shows, and is a code cutter (cable TV) looking for something to watch after abandoning traditional pay-TV. It serves as a starting point for first use by consumers who terminate their contracts. But unlike the Fire TV, Roku’s interface design is really just “a line of apps.” However, many people prefer this simple, uncluttered interface to be easy to use. The Roku Channel launches as a standalone app and isn’t integrated into Roku’s interface.
Roku also offers The Roku Channel as a website and standalone mobile app, just like any other free streaming service. Last week, the company integrated most of The Roku Channel’s free content into its main Roku.com website to reach more consumers.
Fire TV also offers its own app, but it’s limited to live content and you can’t watch on-demand ads or movies.
Amazon has also announced that the live TV program will be Alexa-enabled, in addition to the new integration of live TV.
In other words, you can now watch a specific program name, such as “Alexa, show’Good Morning America'” or “Alexa, show the Seahawks game.” It works with the Alexa Voice Remote on the Fire TV Cube and the Fire TV paired with an Echo device.
Live TV shows will also appear in the “App Peak” feature of the newly updated Fire TV interface. This feature shows what’s on the channel when you hover over the channel in the main navigation, and will work on the Fire TV Stick (3rd generation) and Fire TV Stick Lite for the foreseeable future.
With the integration and expansion of live TV (not to mention the fact that the epidemic of the new coronavirus infection has made people enjoy entertainment at home), the use of livestreaming apps on Fire TV has been 2 in the last 12 months. It is said that it has more than doubled by more than 130%.
According to Amazon, the new features announced this time will be rolled out to Fire TV from the same day in the United States.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.