Your Amazon Fire TV is about to be updated with tons of free streaming channels

Amazon Fire TV Channels home screen displayed on a TV
(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon has unveiled plans to roll out free streaming channels with ads for all Fire TV Stick owners. The big tech giant said that it will launch the free channels on its Fire TV Channels program in the first week of May 2023. 

It announced the introduction of 'free ad-supported streaming TV' at the Advertising Bureau’s 2023 NewFronts conference on 1 May, which tells you something about what the catch is here – you’ll need to put up with ads while watching the free channels.

Your Fire TV Channels program is set to be updated daily and will be available across all Fire TV devices, including on the ‘Home Screen’, within the software’s ‘Free’ tab and ‘More Categories’ section. 

To help with the organization of these new TV channels, Amazon Fire TV will add new content categories for viewers to search, including news, sports, music, gaming, comedy, lifestyle as well as others. 

The new channels will also include shows related to cooking, which Amazon has made a particular focus. The company tapped celebrity chef Martha Stewart to showcase the new Fire TV Channels in a promotional video (see below). 

The streaming service will also add a dedicated travel section. TechCrunch reports that this new travel channel will feature shows and videos from the likes of Tastemade Travel, Rick Steves’ Europe, Travel Hacks and Condé Nast Traveler.

New shows from NHL, Xbox and TMZ will also be added to Fire TV Channels, expanding its growing streaming library on Amazon Fire TV. 

“With Fire TV Channels, we’re delivering a simple, category-based experience that makes it easy to discover what you want to watch while constantly expanding content offerings,” Charlotte Maines, director of Fire TV advertising, monetization and engagement, said about the new content categories.

Rise of free TV channels boosts cord cutters  

Amazon revealed in its presentation at the event that the reason it’s doubling down on free live TV is because it has noticed a 300% increase in monthly viewing hours on its Fire TV Channels. In the US, the company’s ad-supported streaming services also reach an average of 155 million monthly viewers.     

Streaming platforms are increasingly rolling out subscription-free, ad-supported digital channels as more and more pay-TV customers cut the cord. Google TV, for example, has also been increasing its free live TV channels – it added over 800 channels to watch for free in the US just last week.

Roku also announced that it was adding 350 free channels to its own streaming platform in March. Other streaming services set to announce similar free channels include YouTube, which has said that it is experimenting with this type of content, as well as Plex, Pluto, Warners Bros. Discovery, Tubi and Sling TV.  

The rising interest in launching free channels with ads can also be attributed to the fact that customers are increasingly looking to cut back on subscriptions to the growing number of streaming services being launched.  

“We’ve offered some of this content for a while for customers – we’ve helped them discover it throughout the [user interface] by having rows of content for example throughout ‘Home’ or other pages,” Maines explained during the presentation. “We’ve seen that they’ve been engaging with it when we surface it in a topical way… so we know it’s working for our customers,” she added.

Amazon is focusing on free TV shows and movies so much that it has even adding more than 100 Amazon Originals from its Prime Video service to its own ad-supported Freevee service, allowing you to watch the likes of Late Night and The Grand Tour with ads for free.

Interested in Amazon's Fire TVs? Read our hands-on test of the latest Omni QLED series model.

Amelia Schwanke
Senior Editor UK, Home Entertainment

Amelia became the Senior Editor for Home Entertainment at TechRadar in the UK in April 2023. With a background of more than eight years in tech and finance publishing, she's now leading our coverage to bring you a fresh perspective on everything to do with TV and audio. When she's not tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos in the ever-evolving world of home entertainment, you’ll find her watching movies, taking pictures and travelling.