Amazon claims it has added over 1,000 apps, channels and games to Fire TV since September
Developers are porting over their mobile games to the Fire TV platform, a move that is also occurring with the new Apple TV, but it may be original, exclusive content that allows one platform to differentiate itself from its competition
The app wars appear to have shifted from the app stores to the TV streaming services, with Amazon making the claim yesterday that it had added over 1,000 apps, channels and games to its Fire TV ecosystem since September, and act the system now sports over 4,000 such apps and channels.
With both the Apple TV and Amazon’s Fire TV the vast majority of these new apps are games, ported over from games created by developers for the iOS and Android platforms. And with such large numbers of new apps to be added, the app stores on each platform becomes crowded and app discovery harder and harder.
The Roku system has been the leader in attracting new channels and games for its TV streaming device for the past year. But without a supported mobile operating system to help it grow, its growth will likely be slowed. Nonetheless, Roky claims that it can offer 2,700 video and music channels, though only about 100 games. Roku won’t be helped in its fight with Apple, Amazon and Google that its new Roku 4 has had quality issues, still runs hot, and has an annoying fan. I could never get my unit to ever work, and found customer service hopeless. Roku reached out to me, but never offered to either replace the unit or let me demo a unit that actually worked. I still have my Roku 3, but increasingly I use the new Apple TV.
Amazon highlights new channels such as NBC, NBC Sports, Watch HGTV, Fox Now, NPR One and GoPro, but it can point to far more new games than broadcast quality channels.
I am still a but amazed that none of the major TV streaming platforms have chosen to act as channel developers, or at least funder, themselves. Creating a quality channel offerings, that will never be available elsewhere, is what will differentiate one platform from another. As Netflix has proved, having one new popular offering (think House of Cards) is far better than dozens of worthless channels repurposing YouTube videos.
Here is Amazon’s announcement about its new app offerings on the Fire TV platform:
SEATTLE, Wash. – December 17, 2015 — Amazon today announced that the Fire TV device family has added over 1,000 new apps, channels, and games since September, including new channels such as NBC, NBC Sports, Watch HGTV, Watch Food Network, Watch Travel Channel, Fox Now, NPR One, GoPro, and more. Amazon Fire TV devices now have over 4,000 channels, apps, and games—the largest selection of any streaming media player.
In addition to great new entertainment channels, Amazon Fire TV has also added popular new games such as Shovel Knight, Telltale’s Minecraft: Story Mode, Dark Echo, and Olli Olli 2. To take advantage of these great new games, and other favorites such as Final Fantasy III, IV, V, and VI, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic on Amazon Fire TV devices, customers can get the new Fire TV Gaming Edition this week for $114.99 (regularly $139.99). Learn more about the Fire TV Gaming Edition at www.amazon.com/fire-tv-gaming-edition.
“We’re thrilled to bring these popular new channels, apps, and games to Fire TV customers,” said Steve Rabuchin, Vice President, Amazon Appstore. “We are excited that Fire TV has become the #1 streaming media player in the US, and customers are loving their new Fire TV devices. Because of this positive customer response, developers continue to bring great apps to the platform, with app selection increasing by more than 1,000 channels, apps, and games since September.”
Here’s what developers are saying about Amazon Fire TV:
“Amazon Fire TV is an incredibly fast growing platform and we are thrilled to make Watch HGTV, Watch Food Network, and Watch Travel Channel available to Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick customers,” said Henry Ahn, President of Content Distribution & Marketing, Scripps Networks Interactive. “We see a great opportunity to provide the highly engaged Amazon customers with some of their most loved channels.”
“The NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra apps offer audiences some of the best shows and live sports and we’re happy to make them available to customers of Amazon Fire TV devices. This relationship with Amazon will further drive fan engagement with NBC and NBCSN’s deep lineup of premier programming,” stated Alison Moore, GM and EVP, TV Everywhere, NBCUniversal.
“We are always seeking new ways to deliver GoPro content to our diverse audience, from the sports enthusiast to the animal lover to the family vacationer. Since Amazon customers are some of the most engaged users in the world, we are thrilled to bring the GoPro Channel directly to them on Amazon devices,” said Jon Cohen, director, distribution at GoPro. “The GoPro experience on Amazon Fire TV makes it simple for users to watch GoPro originally-produced and “best of” user-generated content, and also learn about which capture devices, mounts and accessories were used to shoot the awesome footage. We are thrilled the GoPro Channel is available to Amazon Fire TV customers.”
From July through October (the last month for which there is data), Amazon Fire TV is the #1 streaming media player in the US across all retailers with Black Friday weekend sales on Amazon up more than 6x year over year. Last year, Amazon introduced the first Amazon Fire TV, combining voice search that actually works, fast and powerful performance, and an open ecosystem to deliver the easiest way to watch Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO NOW, Hulu, WatchESPN, and more on your big-screen TV. This fall Amazon launched the next generation of Fire TV devices—the new Amazon Fire TV with support for 4K Ultra HD, and the new Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote—both of which include Alexa voice support.