New Delhi: Amazon.com Inc. on Wednesday launched its content-streaming Fire TV Stick, a media player that plugs into an HDTV and lets customers access its Prime Video and Netflix content among other services on television.
The Fire TV stick comes pre-loaded with apps including Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, Voot, Netflix and Eros Now, among others. The stick also lets you replicate your online video library on television with the help of a working wi-fi connection.
India is the fifth market where Amazon Fire TV Stick, priced at Rs3,999, has been introduced—after the US, the UK, Germany, and Japan. “We started Prime with unlimited fast delivery and then added unlimited access to Prime Video at no additional cost. Now, Fire TV Stick transforms TV viewing and makes the Prime experience even better,” said Amit Agarwal, senior vice-president and country manager at Amazon India.
“Customers can now instantly stream their favourite movies and TV shows right from an HDTV, and easily find new content using just their voice,” he said.
Marc Whitten, vice-president, Amazon Fire TV, said that Amazon wanted to make it easy for consumers to watch TV on their TV again. “Fire TV Stick offers access to a vast selection of movies and TV shows, popular apps, and features designed specifically for customers in India including powerful voice search for Amazon Video titles in Hindi and English. Fire TV Stick also offers data monitoring and other features to help customers in India get the most from their data plan and stream more content using less bandwidth,” he said.
Earlier this month, Bharti Airtel Ltd launched a new hybrid set-top box integrating its DTH (direct-to-home) offering with Google’s Android TV OS, with apps including Netflix and YouTube, in an attempt to keep its platform relevant for users who are increasingly moving to so-called non-linear TV (or practising cord cutting) and increase its average revenue per user.
Ashish Pherwani, partner, media and entertainment at consulting firm EY, said “these devices work on lower cost broadband compared to mobile data plans, with the added advantage of the bigger screen experience and since the data costs come down, the service providers get that many more subscribers on the platform.”
In the US, other than Prime Video, Amazon preloads Fire TV with close to 140 apps such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime, Fox Now, CBS All Access and more.