Amazon has no plans to release alpha version of its ‘baked’ and ‘wired’ streaming devices
NEW YORK (AP) Amazon’s baked and wired streaming devices have gone from obscurity to household names, as they take the internet by storm and help users stream content on their smartphones.
The devices were first introduced in the fall of 2016 with the release of a series of low-cost streaming boxes, and have been downloaded more than 200 million times, according to Nielsen.
The first two boxes, called the Kindle Fire and Fire HD, cost about $299 and $199, respectively.
But the new $100-plus devices, dubbed the Fire TV, Fire TV Stick and Fire TV 5, have become popular with consumers and have seen a surge in sales since.
The new models include built-in speakers, a camera that’s a bit smaller than the original models and Wi-Fi that lets users stream video on up to six devices simultaneously.
Amazon’s “baked” and “wired” streaming devices are all $99 or less, and they’ll soon be available at some major retailers like Target, Walmart, Home Depot and other major retailers.
Amazon launched its “baptism of the digital age” campaign in late March, featuring a video of a woman reading a book while holding a phone and a box that looks like a traditional television.
The company has already surpassed Apple’s Apple TV as the biggest-selling streaming device in the United States, but Amazon’s devices also have their share of controversy.
In August, the company pulled an ad featuring an Amazon customer who said he’d bought a Fire TV 4 for his wife and she didn’t like it.
He said the device didn’t have the built-ins to watch videos or stream music, and that the speaker wasn’t powerful enough to listen to music on his phone, which he said sounded like a smartphone.
“The best part is that we didn’t know if that was true,” said the man in the ad, who identified himself as a “baker” on Amazon’s website.
“But you know what?
They were right.”
In March, Amazon said it had purchased the streaming device company Vimeo for $1.9 billion, making it the second-largest Internet video platform after Google.
But in April, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon was selling the company’s YouTube video site for $970 million, a move that the company says is a spinoff of its YouTube-owned streaming service Prime Video.
Amazon declined to comment on the Wall Journal report, but its stock price spiked 10 percent to a record high in early May after it announced it had sold its entire video content business.
It’s unclear if Amazon plans to sell its video services to competitors like Apple or Google.
The company’s video offerings include Amazon Prime Video, which has over 200 million subscribers, and Amazon’s own Prime Video streaming service, which is available in more than 70 countries and includes a host of exclusive movies and shows.
Amazon isn’t alone in trying to tap the burgeoning streaming market.
Roku, the leading streaming device maker, has also announced plans to launch an ad-supported service, though that service hasn’t launched yet.
Netflix, the largest streaming video platform, has said it is “evaluating” how to offer video services like its original series “House of Cards” and the upcoming “Orange is the New Black.”
Roku has also launched its own subscription streaming service.