Amazon Fire TV enhances personalized discovery with dynamic rows

Amazon’s Fire TV platform has made some tweaks to better surface personalized content recommendations across various providers with dynamic rows on its home screen.

Fire TV users have different home screens based on the shows, genres and apps they use the most, but now Amazon said its dynamic rows are “even smarter in the way it surfaces the content you enjoy.”

Based on viewing preferences users will see various recommendation and category rows such as “Free Rom-Coms,” “Headspinning True Crime Stories,” or “Obsession Worthy Reality TV.”

The company said it’s also increasing visibility of free content on the platform with rows that offer programming without a subscription. According to Amazon, Fire TV’s top five most popular free content rows include: Recommended Free Movies and TV Shows, Free Documentaries, Popular Action Movies, Comedy Flicks, and Serious Cinema.

It’s also showing trending content with a Fire TV Top 10 Row. Netflix is one SVOD that prominently displays Top 10 movies and TV shows within its streaming service. Fire TV’s version refreshes daily to show what’s most popular in TV shows and movies across genres and different apps.

And while Amazon has its standalone Freevee FAST service, it also talked up bringing more free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) content to Fire TV, with a focus on short-form video content.

“An ever-expanding catalogue of content doesn’t need to be overwhelming. That’s our approach to new free content for Fire TV customers from categories including sports highlights, cooking, music videos, entertainment news, and more,” the company noted.

Fire TV in October brought on free sports highlights from MLB, NBC Sports and Fox Sports in the U.S., and at the time said engagement with FAST content on the platform was up over 50% compared to the year prior. In December it added tens of thousands of music videos, powered by XITE, allowing users to create their own mixes or chose from over 200 pre-curated playlists.

With its eye on short-form for free Fire TV content, Amazon said the videos are meant to keep viewers informed and entertained whether they have a few minutes or hours to engage, with more content “coming soon.”

In a November column for Fierce Video, Parks Associates CMO Elizabeth Parks highlighted Amazon as now leading the market for streaming media players, with Roku a close second, but noted adoption of streaming sticks or dongles has plateaued in the U.S. as smart TV adoption ticks up. Still, Parks said both remain important, with streaming media players better for app stores and content searching.

“As smart TVs improve in performance and affordability, they are expected to be increasingly preferred over time,” wrote Parks. “SMPs [streaming media players] will inherently remain appealing to Laggards due to their lower relative cost, enabling new smart TV purchases to be inexpensively avoided.”