Amazon has announced the addition of IMDb TV and Xumo to the Amazon Fire TV live channel guide, giving Fire TV users access to more than 400 live-streamed channels, half of them free.
Amazon also added the Amazon news app to its live-streamed lineup, with the Plex app “coming soon." Channels and content from these apps will now appear on the “Live” tab within the Fire TV OS, as well as in “On Now” rows, and the Universal Channel Guide for customers that have downloaded the app.
Amazon Fire TV’s live-streamed channel guide now features content from nearly 20 programming providers, including subscription sources like YouTube TV, Sling TV, Philo and Amazon Prime Video, but also free ad-supported outlets like Tubi and Pluto TV.
Voice commands via Amazon Alexa technology have also been added to the Fire TV interface so that users can surface live shows by speaking commands such as, “Alexa, play Good Morning America” or “Alexa, play the Seahawks game.”
Live TV programs will now appear in the “App Peek” feature of the recently upgraded Fire TV user interface. For example, if a user hovers over Pluto TV in the main navigation, live TV options will surface, and they can quickly navigate to the game or news program. App Peeks are currently available on Fire TV Stick (third generation and above) and Fire TV Stick Lite. Support for additional Fire TV devices is coming this later in March, Amazon said.
“We’ve always taken a content-forward approach when designing Fire TV,” said Sandeep Gupta, VP & GM of Amazon Fire TV, in a statement. “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. 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.”
Amazon Fire TV now touts 50 million active users. And it’s not alone in developing mechanisms to organize, surface and encourage use of live TV channels. Roku has aggressively invested in its Live TV Channel Guide for more than a year.
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