Fire TV Predictions For 2018

Quibi can be seen on TV now

How will Amazon continue to build its brand in the streaming device world in 2018? It already has a solid place in the market but has yet to fully take advantage of its unique nature as a company. Amazon is not primarily a device maker, it is a retailer that also makes a few devices. Expect to see that play out over the next 12 months. Amazon is Also a studio. This could influence its future in the device world as well.

Fire TV will resolve its YouTube problem
At the moment the Amazon Fire TV does not support an official YouTube App. The company has been engaged in a tit for tat feud with Google leading Google to announce it will pull support for the YouTube App. Amazon redirected users to launch one of two browsers Silk or Firefox. Both allow users to access YouTube. But despite the workaround, I think that the two companies will come to some kind of compromise. It seems unlikely that Amazon would want to be stuck as the only mainline streaming device without a YouTube app. It could be bad for sales. Maybe it will do so by adding Chromecast back to the Amazon store, or even by adding the Google Play streaming app to its devices, though I think that is less likely.

Fire TV will tighten Screws On Piracy
Roku has been cracking down big time on Piracy apps via private channels. The Fire TV supports any number of Android apps that can be pretty easily sideloaded onto the device. With the company working with other studious to combat piracy Amazon may finally begin to program their devices so that they remove unofficial apps from the device via updates and such.

New OS
One way Amazon may end the use of Android apps would be to leave Android behind as the base of the Fire OS. Android was an easy way to get to market, but its competitors Roku and Apple TV do not have the same types of problems as the Fire TV as far as hackability. It would take work and it may even upset some core users, but Amazon cannot continue to allow its products to be associated with Piracy via Android.

New Stick
A new product is a perfect way to introduce a new operating system. It’s been some time since the Fire TV stick was updated. Its positive reviews don’t merit much of a change. I would imagine a more powerful wifi antenna along the lines of the Roku Streaming Stick +, a promise of increased speed, due to a less bulky OS and possible some sort of sharpening of the GUI.

Cloud DVR
Amazon has cloud storage services already in place. A great new hook for expanding Prime customers would be to add DVR services to its lineup. The company could start by integrating the service into the Amazon Fire TV-powered sets that debuted in 2017 for OTA programming. If it were able to strike some partnerships with apps like Pluto TV Fire TV could add a whole other element to what it does making the device and platform just as much a streaming service in and of itself as it is a platform.

New TV Partners
The Amazon Fire TV-powered television movement started in 2017 with three TV partners. This is very similar to how Roku rolled out their branded TV’s a few years earlier. I would expect more TV manufacturers to announce partnerships with Amazon. Fire TV is so popular as a platform and there are many brands, including in-house brands from big-box retailers that could use a pick me up. In fact, any retailers with their own brands could use the TV’s and their Alexa integration as a way to sell smart lights and other Alexa products in a bundle.

More Alexa
Amazon has really pushed Alexa and the Echo. You can expect Amazon to continue to grow the list of things Alexa can do. An obvious choice would be to add more restaurant specific apps. There is already a Dominos app. But I would imagine a lot more companies would like to get in on this. Amazon could even co-market Pizza and a movie or with the Thursday Night football game. Jimmy John’s, Papa John’s Panera. Any national brand that does delivery would be a smart choice.

Grocery Shopping And Food Delivery
Amazon knew what it was doing buying Whole Foods. While you could already order food from the Fire TV expect to be able to shop your local Whole Foods and get items delivered to your door. With same day delivery available in some markets I’d expect to see Amazon change the way people shop for perishable products the way it changed how people shop for electronics. The key will be making sure the items are actually available and reflect it online. More so, I expect to see marketing around the “Hello Fresh” model or Blue Apron. How about a locally sourced prepared meal kit from Whole Foods delivered Weekly.