Amazon Fire TV: Battling for Center of Gravity in the Home

The News: Amazon recently announced that the company sold more than 200 million Amazon Fire TV devices globally across its offering of streaming media players and smart TVs. Read more at Fierce Wireless on their interview with Matt Hill, Head of Fire TV Device Monetization.

Amazon Fire TV: Battling for Center of Gravity in the Home

Analyst Take: In March, Amazon reported that it has sold more than 200 million Amazon Fire TV devices globally across its offering of streaming media players and smart televisions as part of its goal of being the center of gravity in today’s smart home.

According to Matt Hill, Head of Fire TV Device Monetization, the company will continue to push itself into being the center of gravity (or hub) of the home. He shared that not only are customers seeking to get more out of their investments in the living room, they are also asking for more simplicity. Thus, it makes sense that the smart television is an excellent choice as a smart hub, since the interface is large, a source of entertainment, internet-connected, can be controlled with a remote or voice. In fact, with the rise of over-the-top content services, this is should propel the category even further in the future.

Simplicity is Power

Along the vein of keeping things simple, we have too much content at our fingertips today and the process of finding exactly what we want on a consistent basis can often be problematic for many. In fact, with more over-the-top (OTT) content providers continuing to seek more original content as a competitive advantage to lock in consumers, this should only add to that complexity since people often have multiple subscriptions to watch their favorite shows.

The Fierce Wireless article points to a study from LG Ads sharing that 40 percent of consumers are confused about where to find the content they know they want to watch, coupled with their frustration about spending six minutes on average between turning the TV on and beginning video playback. See the charge below from the LG Ads study, and you’ll see that confusion is definitely an issue.

Barriers to Streaming Content
Image source: LG Ads study


Amazon Fire TV Aims to Reduce Complexity

In order to address and mitigate user frustration around complexity, a key strategy for the Amazon Fire TV team is a focus on simplifying the process as much as possible for users, which should bode well for the company. The Amazon Fire TV team is looking at making it easier via its user interface to help users quickly find content such as music videos, news, dramas, comedies, etc.

Another part of the Amazon Fire TV team is focused on figuring out ways to allow consumers to connect their smart devices more seamlessly throughout the home, similar to a dashboard in a security operations center getting regular updates on infrastructure. As an example, the company continues to weave artificial intelligence into its devices to make the home monitoring experience much richer, such as discerning sounds such as broken glass using Alexa Guard with its Ring devices. In essence, in an instance where a hearing impaired individual is watching their smart television, they might get an alert of a broken window through the system and be able to quickly alert the authorities.

Another scenario I envision in the future might be a small pet that is in the backyard and the smart home connected devices in use will be able to hear noises, picking up patterns such as crows cawing at a bird of prey that could indicate your pet could be at risk; a scenario that happens often here in my California neighborhood. This kind of functionality would alert someone with a hearing impairment or an elderly user, and they could see the alert on their smart television about possible trouble, and let the pet in before the event occurred.

My impression is that the Amazon Devices team is in an excellent position to aggregate content for its users, along with making it easier for its users to monitor its devices across the home.

More than 200 million Amazon Fire TV devices in homes across the world is no small accomplishment. I like seeing the Amazon Devices team continue to innovate around its customers and seek ways of making it easier for customers/users to not only find content for a more personalized experience, but also making it easier for users to connect their devices to the smart television as a hub for the home. This should be something that users will view as incredibly valuable.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other insights from The Futurum Group:

Amazon Sidewalk Using Semtech’s LoRa® as a Foundational Technology to Connect Devices

Amazon and Cochlear Collaborate to Make TV Watching More Inclusive for the Hearing Impaired

CES 2023: Amazon Devices Team Showcases Ambient Intelligence and What’s New in Voice Interoperability


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