Amazon Fire TV adds music videos to growing FAST content playlist

Amazon Fire TV is turning up the tunes, adding tens of thousands free ad-supported music videos to the TV platform for users in the U.S.

With music videos now part of Fire TV, Amazon said users can find personalized recommendations based on likes and viewing history, create their own mixes or choose from over 200 pre-curated playlists, such as Top Holiday Hits, Best of 2022 Recap, Siempre Latino and Country Today.

Powered by XITE, Amazon said music videos will be available from artists on the Billboard Hot 100, including Taylor Swift, Drake, Harry Styles, Lizzo, Karol G, and Luke Combs, along with a back catalog of classics across genres. Fire TV expects to update new music video content daily.

And Fire TV users won’t get stuck on a video they don’t like as it includes unlimited music video skips. Consumers can also search for artists and songs, and opt for continuous play of similar music videos.

Additionally, Amazon is further building out Fire TV’s free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) content playlists with business and finance news (including from Bloomberg, The Street, and CNBC), entertainment news (with coverage from E! News and Mixible), along with gaming content and viral videos joining the platform.

On the gaming front, Amazon said users can watch game previews and trailers, gaming news, developer interviews, how to’s, and esports from provides such as IGN, ESTV and Crown Channel. Fire TV is also now offering clip videos from Always Funny Videos, FailArmy, People Are Awesome, and The Pet Collective.

It’s the latest move for Amazon to expand free content on the Fire TV platform. In October Fire TV launched Sports, Trending Trailers and Food & Cooking categories, including highlights from MLB, NBC Sports and Fox Sports.

At the time, Charlotte Maines, director of Fire TV advertising, monetization and engagement, pointed to popularity of FAST content on the platform, saying engagement was up over 50% compared to last year in part thanks to additional content.

And strong engagement appears to be continuing, with Maines saying in an update Monday that Fire TV users are turning to FAST content as a complement to their streaming favorites.

“We introduced sports, movie trailers, and cooking categories this fall, and added free topical playlists to the Home screen to make it easier for customers to catch up on the latest events they care most about, like the midterm elections or the World Series,” Maines said in a statement. “Since September, monthly hours streamed of this content grew more than 250%.”

While the business news, entertainment, sports and viral videos can be accessed from the home screen via tiles for immediate continuous playback, accessing music videos on Fire TV takes at least one more step, as it requires an app download. To access music videos, users can either use their Fire TV voice remote and say “Alexa, find Music Videos,” or search “Music Videos in the Appstore and click the “Music Videos on Fire TV” tile or find tiles in music video rows on the Fire TV home screen to download the app.

Amazon isn’t the only one bringing free music videos to TV screens. Music video network Vevo has been making moves in the FAST space, bringing free genre-focused linear-style music video channels to several platforms (with Amazon’s Freevee as the latest).

In an interview with Fierce Video, Vevo President of Sales and Distribution Kevin McGurn explained that unlike traditional TV content, music videos have very little seasonality, with a constant stream of new content, and tend to be more evergreen – providing benefits for both programming and advertisers. It’s also a style of viewing consumers appear to enjoy.

“What we found through these FAST services, a lean back experience was a much better way to present music videos,” McGurn told Fierce, noting it’s often too much work for people to try and find a new video to watch every four minutes.

Roku is another player that’s recently brought more music into its FAST mix, adding channels from Warner Music Group’s WMX division to The Roku Channel.

As for Amazon, expanding free ad-supported content on Fire TV follows other streaming device and smart TV makers that are leveraging their ownership of the interface alongside free programming to draw in viewers and generate ad revenue  – such as Roku’s The Roku Channel, Samsung’s TV Plus, Vizio’s WatchFree+ and LG Channels. Amazon already has its own FAST service, Freevee (formerly IMDb TV), which is available on other platforms, and along with device OEMs competes with independent and media-owned FASTs such as Paramount’s Pluto TV, Fox’s Tubi, NBCU’s Peacock, and Comcast’s Xumo.  

Speaking at the Go Addressable advertising event earlier this year, Evan Shapiro, producer, NYU and Fordham professor, and CEO of ESHAP, pointed to Amazon’s role amid a shifting power dynamic in the TV ecosystem, tied to a key trend for advertisers of shortening the time between first impression and transaction.

“One of the key elements in the advertising business over the next couple of years is going to be the lack of distance between first impression and transaction,” Shapiro said in November. “And people who can enact that more efficiently with least waste are going to be the winners for brands. It’s not just the distributors it’s also the device makers themselves.”

In this word Shapiro sees e-commerce giant Amazon, which is moving from dongles to smart TVs, along with Google as poised to play a key role and snag share as the vast majority of video impressions happen on connected TV.

“Google is a major player, and Amazon is going to coincide with them, and they’re going to try and recreate a duopoly on the connected television advertising platform that Apple and Google now have on the smartphone,” he predicted at the Go Addressable event.