Amazon has shipped more than 200 million Fire TV-powered devices around the world, the company affirmed during its first-quarter earnings report for the year on Thursday.
The figure includes sales of Amazon’s budget line of Fire TV sticks, the Fire TV 4K Max and the newly-relaunched premium streaming gadget Fire TV Cube, as well as smart TV sets powered by the Amazon Fire TV ecosystem.
Amazon Fire TV is a modified version of Google’s Android TV software, with streaming apps downloaded from an Amazon-controlled app store. The home screen of the devices center around Amazon’s own Prime Video, aggregation apps like Amazon News and third party subscription sales through Amazon Prime Video Channels.
The streamers are popular with cord-cutters — consumers who have ditched expensive cable and satellite TV for cheaper online options — in large part because they’re inexpensive. The Amazon Fire TV Lite streaming stick can often be found for as little as $20 during flash sales and the holiday shopping season, while the Amazon Fire TV Cube packs more features in a better device and retails for $140 (though it’s currently on sale for $125).
Amazon Fire TV devices incorporate Amazon’s smart assistant Alexa and work with thousands of streaming TV and music apps like Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Peacock, Paramount Plus, Pluto TV, HBO Max, YouTube, YouTube TV, Sling TV, Philo and others.
Like its primary competitor Roku, Amazon’s low price point for its Fire TV gadgets is meant to get the devices in as many homes as possible, with Amazon capitalizing on the streaming experience once the devices are active. When consumers pay for a streaming service like Paramount Plus, Starz or MGM Plus through Prime Video channels, Amazon earns a commission from the sale. Likewise, Amazon takes a cut of any purchases made through Fire TV devices when customers buy content or subscriptions through some third party apps.
Amazon also earns revenue through the sale of advertisements on its home screen and other places, a model that Roku and Vizio have also adopted over the last few years.
The low price point for Amazon Fire TV devices has helped it grow and maintain market share in the United States, where it often trades with Roku for first place among streaming TV platforms and where it competes against Android TV (Google TV), Apple TV, Samsung’s Tizen, LG’s WebOS and Vizio’s Platform Plus.
Amazon Fire TV helped juice overall sales to $3.2 billion during the first quarter of the year ending March 31, a 9 percent increase compared to the same period in 2022. That includes sales of Amazon products and services unrelated to Fire TV, including electronic books through its Kindle library and items sold on Amazon’s website.
“There’s a lot to like about how our teams are delivering for customers, particularly amidst an uncertain economy,” Andy Jassy, Amazon’s CEO, said in a statement. He continued: “Our advertising business continues to deliver robust growth, largely due to our ongoing machine learning investments that help customers see relevant information when they engage with us, which in turn delivers unusually strong results for brands.”
The retail sales figure is separate from other Amazon sectors, which includes the company’s flagship cloud computing business. Revenue earned by Amazon Web Services (AWS) grew 16 percent to $21.4 billion.