Philo deepens Amazon Fire TV integration with voice commands

Philo, the virtual MVPD offering a skinny streaming TV bundle, has deepened its integration on Amazon Fire TV devices – enabling the use of Alexa and voice-controlled commands for easier content discovery.

The latest integrations mean Philo subscribers with Fire TV can use an Alexa-enabled smart speaker or voice remote to find and engage with the streaming TV service’s content. With the Philo app open users can now say “Alexa play [insert show name here]” and it will bring the user directly to the player and play the latest episode of the show. Fire TV users can also say “Alexa show me [content here]” which will bring viewers directly to the search screen with a query pre-populated to show results related to the content they searched.

Integrations with Fire TV are nuanced, according to a Philo spokesperson, and dependent on the Amazon backend. Alongside the new voice features, Philo launched an “Easy as Fire TV” campaign.

Although these are the latest, Philo had earlier Fire TV voice integrations that allowed features such as pausing, fast forwarding, or rewinding content. Over the years Philo has had a number of non-Alexa Fire TV capabilities turned up with Amazon such as inclusion of the vMVPD in the “Live” tab, where Philo channels show up in the built-in Fire TV guide once a user has logged in. It’s also incorporated Philo in on-device search results, which is a backend catalog integration that allows Amazon to surface Philo content to users when they search for TV using the Fire interface.

Philo’s streaming service includes a selection of general entertainment, lifestyle, and knowledge programming, including 60 linear pay TV networks and 60,000 on-demand offerings at a price of $25 per month.

Amazon made its own upgrades to the Fire TV user interface over the summer, through a software update with the aim of easier content navigation, search and discovery.