Amazon's growing hardware ecosystem
Nearly 3 out of 10 internet users now rely on streaming box/sticks to watch content. In markets like the US and UK, that figure is over 4 out of 10 internet users. Amongst all the UK streaming box providers (including Apple TV, Chromecast, Now TV, and Roku), Amazon’s Fire Stick is the most popular OTT streaming device, with more than one third of our respondents indicating they have one.
Early indications show Amazon’s ecosystem expansion has been successful, with an increasing number of respondents indicating possession of Amazon’s voice control hardware such as Amazon Echo devices. Amazon recently added the Amazon Cloud Cam alongside its growing range of devices, a home security system that is also compatible with Alexa virtual personal assistant, on top of the tablets, e-readers, and ‘dash’ buttons it already has. In the last year alone, Amazon has launched two new versions of its Fire Stick/TV line with Alexa built in. In November 2017, Amazon announced Fire TV expansion to 100 countries worldwide, a year after making its Prime Video service available in 200 countries.
But the key to the Amazon Fire Stick’s early UK success may not lie solely with Amazon’s ecosystem. Amazon has been happy to allow competing video services, such as Netflix, as well as broadcaster catch-up services like iPlayer and ITV Hub to run on the Fire Stick, but it has been reluctant to make its own service available across competing platforms. Amazon Prime Video was only added as an application in the Play Store in August 2017, and videos can only be cast to a Chromecast via screen mirroring. Although a year-end date was announced at Apple’s most recent event, Amazon Prime Video has also yet to appear on Apple TV.