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Amazon Takes Over the Streaming Game with Free Ad-Supported Fire TV Channels

  • Amazon launches Fire TV Channels, its new free and ad-supported experience for Fire TV.
  • The Fire TV Channels interface will include all content categories and the option to access more than 330 local news channels.
  • Amazon is targeting advertisers with the ability to target its Fire TV customer base and promises the success of its native advertising.

Amazon is doubling down on free, ad-supported content with the introduction of Fire TV Channels, its new free and ad-supported video experience that will come to Fire TV devices this week. The new channels will be continuously updated throughout the day and integrated into several areas of the Fire TV interface, including the home screen rows, the “Free” tab of Fire TV, and specific pages dedicated to certain genres.

The update is based on customer behavior and the growing demand for free streaming content. Amazon has sold over 200 million Fire TV devices worldwide, and the company’s ad-supported streaming solutions now reach an average of 155 million non-duplicated monthly viewers or 6 in 10 adults in the US.

Reasons for the Growth of Ad-Supported Content

Amazon is launching new FAST channels from NHL, Xbox, TMZ, and a new travel category with content from Tastemade Travel, “Rick Steves’ Europe,” “Travel Hacks,” and soon, Condé Nast Traveler. In the future, Fire TV Channels will also include content from the PGA. The growth of ad-supported content can be attributed to several factors, including customer saturation with on-demand video streaming offerings and the ease of use of FAST channels.

With the update, Fire TV’s interface will gather all new and existing FAST content into an updated experience that provides access to a variety of categories like news, sports, food and cooking, music videos, trailers, gaming videos, comedy, and more. The news category includes access to both national news coverage and over 330 local news channels, including new FAST channels from NBC and Telemundo at the end of this week. These category pages can be accessed with just one click from Fire TV’s “Free” tab, and Amazon says “more categories” are coming soon.

Amazon’s Advertiser Argument

Amazon’s argument for advertisers is that they can now target Fire TV’s customer base, which tends to include Prime subscribers and younger families, through Amazon’s DSP. This allows Amazon to leverage the company’s broader advertising team and capabilities to sell Fire TV’s FAST channel ad space.

The company also cites a success story from a carmaker that posted native ads on Fire TV and Fire tablets, resulting in an 11% increase in brand awareness and a 14% increase in purchase intent. According to Nielsen data, Amazon says 72% of its TV streaming viewers do not watch linear TV.


Amazon is not the only streaming service offering FAST channels. Competitor Roku has more than 350 FAST channels on its platform as of March. Google TV just announced more than 800 FAST channels, and YouTube has also been experimenting with them. Plex, Warner Bros. Discovery, Tubi, and Sling TV, among others, are also venturing into this market, historically led by services like Pluto TV.

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