Amazon today announced that it's rolling out a new "Free" tab to the top of your Amazon Fire TV user interface. And it's starting in the United States.
And this goes beyond just the Amazon-owned IMDB TV. IMDB, of course, is the Internet Movie Database, which started life as a website devoted to cataloging every little detail on shows, films and the people who make them. It since has been purchased by Amazon, and thus IMDB TV was born. And that gives you access to all kinds of free content beyond what you get on Prime Video along with your Amazon Prime subscription.
And it's all supported by advertising, of course.
But the new Free tab also includes content from other non-Amazon sources, including Tubings TV, Pluto TV, Crackle, The CW, and the News app on Fire TV.
Here's what Amazon's Michael Polin had to say about things:
Over the past year, we've received great feedback from Fire TV customers about their growing interest in watching free content and their desire for an easier way to find the free content that is available on Fire TV. We wanted to build a curated experience that provides a simple way for customers to find movies and shows they love while also highlighting apps that offer free to watch content they may not have known about. That is why I am proud to announce that Fire TV has added a "free" section to the top navigation bar of the Fire TV menu, making it easier than ever for customers to discover free content. The new Free tab offers customers a single destination to a curated selection from thousands of free movies, TV shows, news, and more.
This puts Amazon Fire TV on more of a level playing field with the likes of Roku, which is doing much of the same thing with The Roku Channel. And that free offering is available anywhere — not just on Roku devices. On a slightly smaller scale, it's also in line with what's going on with Vizio Smartcast and Samsung TV Plus. Free content that's really about keeping eyeballs on your platform, and not somebody else's.
It also means platforms like Android TV and Apple TV are at a bit of a disadvantage, so we'll have to see how long it takes them to promote their own free offerings.
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