The Streaming Video Platform Wars Expand to the Enterprise

by Kristen Hanich | Jan. 20, 2020

CES is always an interesting time. Companies show off their latest and - hopefully - greatest, and we get to guess which of these things will actually still exist in a couple of months. This year, due to throwing out my back the prior Friday during the extremely daring and strenuous task of getting out of a chair, I missed attending in person. Instead I scoured the headlines for articles of interest. And, lo, I found something interesting.

No, it wasn't cute robots. Or fake pork. Or even the nifty AR glasses created by companies like Pico, North, and nReal - instead, an announcement by Amazon took center stage. The company is dramatically increasing its Fire TV footprint, throwing it into greater competition with Roku on smart TVs, and with Android TV on set-top boxes. How, you might ask?

Amazon has dramatically increased its smart TV partnerships. As of today, Fire TV Edition is available on 50 different smart TV models - by the end of 2020, the company expects to support over 150 different TV models across 10 countries. In addition to whatever Amazon charges for licensing its Fire TV OS, the company stands to greatly increase its advertising footprint and subscription footprint as well.

Fire TV Timeline (Source: developer.amazon.com)

With the introduction of Fire TV Edition for Auto, Amazon is pushing into the infotainment space as well. A little over two years after demoing its Alexa Auto program, Amazon announced that it would be bringing Fire TV Edition into vehicles. It has a partnership with BMW and Fiat Chrysler that will allow users to access Fire TV content through a mobile connection - either the car's LTE connection or a mobile hotspot - as well as offer offline playback capabilities and voice control via Alexa. Integration partners Voxx Automotive and Garmin are also working to help bring Fire TV Edition for Auto to more automakers and models as well.

The last of the major announcements was Fire TV Edition for Operators. Amazon partnered with US telco Verizon and India's Tata Sky to test out an operator-specific implementation of the Fire TV Edition. Much like the popular Android TV Operator Tier, which has been taking the pay-TV world by storm, Fire TV Edition for Operators will allow pay-TV providers to easily incorporate Fire TV into their entertainment products - while still bringing a tailored experience to their customers. Amazon is targeting internet service and TV providers in North America, Europe, India and Japan.

2020 will certainly be an exciting year, as the streaming video platform wars - previously contained to the world of streaming media players - expand into the enterprise market.

Are you interested in learning more about the streaming video product market? Check out our recent reports, Adoption and Use of Connected Video Products,and Demand and Perception of Connected TVs.

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Next: Robots: The Next Home Assistants
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