But the two over-the-top platform companies have now inked a deal to bring the Roku Channel, the free, ad-supported service to Fire TV devices in the U.S. starting Thursday. The Roku Channel offers more than 100,000 titles (including those on premium subscription services) and over 115 live/linear channels.
One caveat: You can’t subscribe to premium channels available in the Roku Channel (like Showtime, Starz, Epix or HBO — the legacy HBO, not HBO Max) directly from Fire TV. To do that, you must sign up directly through Roku. If you already have a Roku account and pay for premium content, you can log in on Fire TV and stream those channels.
However, to watch the free content on the Roku Channel on Fire TV, you do not need to have a Roku account — you can just start streaming.
Roku, on its own devices, offers apps for both Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Music.
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“We are excited that the Roku Channel is now available for all our millions of Amazon Fire TV customers in the U.S.,” said Sandeep Gupta, VP of Amazon Fire TV. “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 Roku Channel will begin rolling out today to Amazon Fire TV streaming devices, Fire TV Edition smart TVs, and Fire TV Edition soundbars in the U.S.
In another bid to bring more viewers to its Roku Channel on non-Roku platforms, the company plans to launch a free mobile app for iOS and Android smartphones later this year.
Roku makes most of its revenue — and virtually all its profit — from ad sales and subscriptions. In the second quarter quarter of 2020, the company’s platform segment accounted for 69% of overall revenue and 94% of its gross profit. As of the end of Q2, Roku reached 43 million active accounts in the U.S.
On Fire TV, the Roku Channel is integrated with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, so you can say “Alexa, find the Roku Channel app” into an Alexa Voice Remote, a paired Echo device, or Fire TV Cube to download it. Users can also find the Roku Channel by clicking the search icon in the Fire TV menu’s top navigation bar.