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Amazon’s Fire TV GM Says Device Has Become More Than Content Aggregator, As Platform Reaches 50M Active Users

Stephanie Sengwe

Yesterday, Amazon announced that they garnered 50 million active users on Fire TV devices around the world, a 25 percent increase in users since January. While the number is staggering, it shouldn’t come as a surprise given the kind of year 2020 has been.

While a lot of it has to do with people staying at home, Fire TV’s VP and GM, Sandeep Gupta, also believes that the success of Fire TV devices also stems from the fact that it offers people more than just a slew of apps. “It’s been quite a journey from the very beginning. We started with just a few apps and the landscape has continued to change. We’ve seen more and more types of content come about on devices like Fire TV,” he stated during the Parks Associates’ Future of Video Conference.

“What you’re seeing with streaming is the next evolution [in TV] where people went to our devices to get things like Prime Video an Netflix, but now they are becoming the norm. You see things like Youtube TV and Sling, and free ad services like Pluto and IMDbTV really take off on the content side, but then over the year it’s further expanded to new type of content. We see things like exercising, cooking, news and sports and everything else that’s critical. These devices have become more than just content aggregators, but really more of a window into everything people want to do.”

As one of the top ranking platforms people use, Fire TV has naturally had to make changes, as people try to stay connected. The company expanded accessibility features with new text banner for Fire TV, enabled two-way video calling support on the Fire TV Cube (2nd generation) and expanded hands-free capabilities for controlling Fire TV with Alexa-enabled devices by adding the “Show Me” experience.

“What we’ve been able to do with our service is expand what we offer to our customers and simplify that landscape. What we’ve always tried to do with Fire TV since the beginning is making things simple for customers—we were the first to launch with voice, first to drive content for user experience,” he explained.

“In 2020 in particular, you saw that really accelerate…Things like news—the Amazon News app is now the number one app on our device; things like education—some apps have seen a 400 percent increase in education use this year…It’s been a tough year for everyone and our mission at Fire TV is to try and make that easier for people, having the find things they want to look at in the best way they can.”