Roku brings streaming channel to Amazon Fire devices

(Image: Roku, Inc. / Graphic: The Desk)

Amazon and Roku are now content partners as much as they are platform competitors.

On Thursday, Amazon Fire TV customers gained access to the Roku Channel, a free streaming service operated by hardware manufacturer Roku that consists of over 100,000 movie and TV episodes coupled with over 100 linear channels of content.

The move marks the second time Roku has brought its Roku Channel service to a platform it doesn’t control. Earlier this month, a Roku Channel app became available on Apple’s iOS phones.

“We are excited that the Roku Channel is now available for all our millions of Amazon Fire TV customers in the U.S.,” Sandeep Gupta, an Amazon executive in charge of the company’s Fire TV lineup, said in a statement. “We’ve always strived to have a broad selection of content on Fire TV, and believe this is a great addition that all our customers will enjoy.”

The channel differs from one offered on Roku devices in that it doesn’t offer third-party subscriptions from HBO, Showtime, Starz and other content providers. Amazon Fire TV customers have access to these third party subscriptions directly from the programmer or via Amazon Prime TV Channels.

A version of the Roku Channel is expected to roll out to Android and Google TV users later this year.

Roku‘s decision to place its Roku Channel service on non-Roku devices falls in line with the company’s shifting business strategy away from selling premium hardware products toward one that generates revenue through subscriptions, advertisements and the collection of user data.

The company earned more than 90 percent of its gross profit from its advertisement, subscription and user data operations in the second quarter of 2020, according to financial information released by Roku.