When the original Amazon Fire TV was first released, one of its biggest criticisms was that there was too much focus on Amazon Video content in the device’s interface, and not enough highlighting of content from other services. Amazon has since made huge strides to address those criticisms, and they’ll soon be more ways for non-Amazon content to surface on the Fire TV interface. Amazon recently updated their Fire TV developer documentation to state that more apps will soon be able to recommend content on the Fire TV’s home screen. Yesterday the entry was updated to add that the feature would be coming in “Q2 2017 or sooner.”
When Netflix finally integrated their content catalogue into the Fire TV’s interface and voice search, Amazon also added a row of “Netflix Recommendations” to the device’s home screen. I suspect that this additional recommendations row, as well as the removal of “Prime” indicator banners, were changes demanded by Netflix before they would agree to display their content in the default Fire TV interface.
Amazon will soon be extending the ability to recommend content on the home screen to other 3rd-party apps, beyond just major services like Netflix and HBO. Just as it is now, you’ll only see recommended content from 3rd-party apps that you already have installed, so there’s no concern for your Fire TV home screen to be inundated with content from services you aren’t already using.
Hopefully all content providers with Fire TV apps will take advantage of the new ability once it’s available. If the feature is adopted by 3rd-party services, the Fire TV home screen should become a vibrant collection of interesting content from all of your favorite streaming providers. At the very least, it’ll no longer be Amazon’s fault if your Fire TV interface is full of only Amazon Video content.