Amazon Fire TV update makes it much easier to find its free channels

Amazon Fire TV Channels app on smart TV
(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon is tidying up its Fire TV Channels by launching a new app bundling the over 400 content providers on the platform into one convenient location.

The update is currently making its way to “smart TVs and streaming media players” that support Amazon Fire TV in the United States. The company states that once they download the patch, users will have two ways to access this newfound reservoir. You can command “Alexa to ‘Play Fire TV Channels’ to open the app”. Or you can head over to the “Fire TV’s ‘Your Apps & Channels’ [menu]”, where the app will have its home. Once found, direct access to the app will be displayed “in the Recently Used Apps row on the Home screen.” 

It doesn’t appear Amazon is adding on a Home screen icon for Fire TV Channels. The closest thing you can do is to stumble upon a show or movie on your streaming device. The company recommends pressing the Home button on “your Alexa Voice remote” then scrolling down on the page in order to “find [rows] labeled Fire TV Channels”. It's also possible to "go to the Free icon in Fire TV's navigation bar." At the end of the day, the process will vary from person to person.

Alongside the app, Amazon is introducing new providers to Fire TV. They range from entertainment stations like The Hollywood Report to comedy channels like Funny or Die. It’s unknown if these changes will be making their way to other countries where Amazon Fire TV is available , such as Canada, the UK, Australia, and France. 

We asked Amazon if it has plans to roll out the app elsewhere. This story will be updated at a later time.

Wave of the future

The release of the Fire TV Channels app comes at a particularly interesting time. Fire TV Channels is something known as a FAST (free ad-supported streaming TV) platform. It's essentially cable TV, but without the monthly bills. And it’s a niche service we think is ready to quickly expand, especially now that the best streaming services have begun jacking up prices. In fact, a report from the Financial Times reveals streaming platforms in the United States cost viewers roughly $87 a month, up $73 from just a year ago. Users are getting squeezed and we have to go somewhere.

Amazon is seemingly ready to pounce on this opportunity as it has not one, but two FAST services: Fire TV Channel, as we just covered, and Freevee, which recently gained a ton of content from MGM Studios. Not one to fall behind, Google is going down a similar path by launching 800 free channels to Android TV.

With so many shows and movies out there, you’re going to need a proper television set. Be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best TVs for 2023.  

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.