Amazon Fire TV Live adds virtual pay TV options from Sling, YouTube, and Hulu

Amazon Fire TV Live adds virtual pay TV options from Sling, YouTube, and Hulu

Amazon’s Fire TV platform is expanding its live TV integration to include several key new services: YouTube TV, Sling TV, and Hulu’s live TV offering. The new services join previously available services, including Pluto TV and Prime Video Channels.

As part of the new integration, live content from each provider will appear in Fire TV’s live discovery features. That includes the Live tab, On Now rows, and Channel Guide. Amazon has already offered Sling TV, YouTube TV, and Hulu’s live TV service on Fire TV hardware through existing apps — what’s new here is their inclusion in the “live TV” tab. Sling TV’s integration into Fire TV’s live discovery features actually began rolling out earlier this year, YouTube TV will start tomorrow, and Hulu’s integration will occur over the next few weeks.

Being more deeply integrated into Fire TV is a big deal; Amazon controls nearly 20 percent of the share of viewing time, according to data from analytical firm Conviva. That’s second only to Roku. Making it easier for customers to access different virtual TV services through Amazon Fire TV’s Live integration might bring in more customers for Hulu, YouTube, and Sling.

For Amazon, being able to offer the live integrations also means keeping customers inside its ecosystem instead of in those company’s separate apps. Amazon states that the Live Tab is the second most-visited part of the Fire TV app after the home screen. The total time spent by people watching live TV via live-streaming apps on Fire TV has more than doubled since the live TV discovery integration launch, the company noted.

“We believe the future of connected TV is one that brings live content forward, simplifies the streaming and OTT landscape, and enables customers to discover the programs they want to watch with ease,” Sandeep Gupta, vice president of Fire TV, said in a statement.

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