Sling TV Cleans Up Its App, Launches Beta on Amazon Fire TV (Updated)
Much-needed UX upgrade features new home screen, search and recommendation features, among other improvements
After admitting that the quality of its user experience is subpar earlier this year, Sling TV is rolling out what it says are major OS/UX improvements, starting with its Amazon Fire TV app.
“After a year of talking to customers and working with our design and advanced engineering teams, we're happy to roll out the new Sling TV app to deliver the best in live sports, news and entertainment, at the same unbeatable low price point," said Michael Schwimmer, group president of Sling TV, in a statement issued Tuesday
Sling TV said that the beta version of its now app has now launched on Amazon Fire TV.
A new home screen now includes a "powerful" recommendation engine that "spotlights the perfect movies and shows chosen specifically for the user."
A "reimagined" program guide will keep the familiar look at feel, but will allow users to sort the guide and make their favorite channels easier to get to.
A new DVR tab, meanwhile, will make it easier to access the more than 50 hours of free storage, as well as the 200 hours available to those paying $5 a month.
Sling TV is also promising much-needed improvements for search and navigation features.
"When we began the process of reimagining the app, we started with the customer. After immense testing and direct feedback across our customer base, we've developed a design that gives the user an effortless experience," addedJon Lin, VP of product for Sling TV.
Sling TV and its parent, Dish Network, have not revealed when the operating system upgrade will reach the Fire TV platform ... or other connected TV device systems.
In February, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen conceded that Sling TV “should have more market share” among virtual pay TV providers, given that has been in the market the longest, launching six years earlier.
“We stumbled a little there with the quality of the user experience,” Ergen said. “Our network was the best and the first, but we got a little complacent.”
Sling TV reported the loss of 100,000 customers in the first quarter, finishing the first three months of the year with 2.374 million subscribers--less than 200,000 more than it reported in 2018.
Besides tweaking its app, Sling TV is responding to the slow growth with an aggressive Verizon promotion, offering two months free of its virtual pay TV service to new and existing Verizon wireless customers.
Notably, buried at the bottom of Tuesday's press release, Sling TV announced yet another new promo--new and returning customers can get Sling TV Orange or Blue tiers plus the 200-hour cloud DVR for $10 for the first month.
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!