Detailed with an Amazon press release today, the online retailer will be implementing all content offered by Hulu Plus, Sony’s Crackle and the Showtime Anywhere applications within the Fire TV’s voice search function. While limited support has been offered for some programming on Hulu Plus, Amazon plans to add the full catalog of Hulu’s content into the Fire TV system. In the future, when a user tries a voice search for content like NBC’s Hannibal, they will see options for season 1 streaming for free for all Prime members, season 2 premium purchases on Amazon and the five most recently aired episodes on Hulu Plus.
Of course, Amazon is still missing Netflix as a voice search partner, thus Fire TV owners won’t have any idea if an television show or movie that’s offered for a premium price on Amazon is available at a monthly-subscription price on Netflix. For instance, voice searching the phrase House of Cards only reveals season 1 at a premium cost on Amazon.
If the Netflix catalog is implemented into voice search, it’s likely that it could undercut a large chunk of Amazon’s premium content library. This is a competitive advantage offered by Roku at the moment. Roku doesn’t have any reason to promote one service over another, thus includes all popular streaming services in the universal search function.
Beyond the additions to voice search, Amazon also indicated that new features are in the pipeline for the Fire TV. A new browsing filter will allow Prime subscribers the ability to view only content that’s included for free with their subscription price. In addition, Amazon will roll out FreeTime support for children and Amazon MP3 support for music streaming in the near future. Finally, Amazon is promising to deliver on a batch of new games on the streaming set top box, some of which will include touchscreen functionality if you own a smartphone or tablet.
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