Amazon today announced Fire TV Channels, which brings even more free ad-supported TV — otherwise known as FAST — to the Amazon Fire TV operating system.
The gist is simple: You’ll see even more free video promoted to you on the Amazon Fire TV home screen from the various sources within the FAST universe. That means in addition to all the content currently available on Amazon Freevee (formerly known as IMDB TV), there will be video from the NHL, Xbox, and TMZ. There will be a new travel category, too, and Conde Nast and the PGA are teed up next.
None of this replaces subscription video services like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, or Disney+. It’s all part of a continued movement to augment that with free video that makes revenue via advertising. You watch, and Amazon gets a cut. And it’s now baked into the main home screen, much like what Google TV has done, too.
Content available on FAST services — which also include names like Tubi (owned by Fox), Pluto (owned by Paramount), and The Roku Channel — runs the gamut. It can be anything and everything the content providers want, from relatively recent movies and series to obscure web series you might instead find on YouTube.
“With the launch of Fire TV Channels, we’re doubling down on our free ad-supported TV (FAST) experience–which already includes News, Sports, Food & Cooking, Music Videos, Trailers, Gaming Videos, and Comedy,” Charlotte Maines, director of Fire TV advertising, monetization, and engagement, said in a press release. “In the past six months alone, monthly hours streamed of this content has grown by 300%. When our customers love something, we invest in creating more ways to surprise and delight them.”
The new experience begins pushing out this week, Amazon said. You don’t have to sign up for anything new or pay any extra money. It’s just more free videos and more advertising. And none other than Martha Stewart is on hand to help promote the launch.
“Fire TV is breaking barriers by living up to the ‘smart’ in ‘smart TV,’ ” Maines continued. “With Fire TV Channels, we’re delivering a simple, category-based experience that makes it easy to discover what you want to watch while constantly expanding content offerings.”
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