Nearly 20 programmers are supplying live channel content, among them bundled subscription services like YouTube TV, Sling TV and Philo. Newly integrated on Fire are free offerings like Xumo and Amazon’s IMDb TV and news app. Plex will soon join the fold.
Voice commands via Amazon Alexa have also been added to live TV programs. Alexa will respond to commands to “play Good Morning America” or “play the Seahawks game,” for example.
Live shows also now appear in the “App Peek” feature of the updated Fire TV user interface. If a viewer hovers over Pluto TV in the main navigation, they will see what is on the ViacomCBS-owned live streaming outlet and then be able to go to that program.
App Peeks are currently available on select Fire TV sticks, with support for additional devices coming later this month.
Fire reaches more than 50 million U.S. households. Its live offerings have seen a 130% increase in engagement over the past year, Amazon said.
The latest offerings follow Amazon’s launch of the Live Tab and an on-screen channel guide on Fire TV.
“We’ve always taken a content-forward approach when designing Fire TV. When you turn on your TV, you’re going to see shows, movies, and sports — not just rows of apps. This philosophy extends to our approach to live content,” said VP & GM of Amazon Fire TV, Sandeep Gupta. “We’re continuing to invest heavily in Live TV and so are our content partners. We’re expanding that today with the addition of new integrations, Alexa capabilities, and enhanced content discovery mechanisms.”
Colin Petrie-Norris, CEO of the Comcast-owned Xumo, said its integration with Fire TV “offers a seamless way for users to discover an enormous array of our free, premium programming across multiple genres.”
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