You read that right. Roku, the Fire TV’s largest competitor, has just released their own official Roku Channel app in the Amazon appstore. Similar to Amazon’s own IMDb TV service, the Roku Channel houses Roku’s library of over 100,000 ad-supported movies and TV shows, as well as over 100 live TV channels. It’s now all available through any Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Edition televisions, or Fire TV Edition soundbar.
The Roku Channel first launched The Roku Channel in 2017 and has been expanding its content offerings ever since. The Roku Channel eventually became available on other platforms through a web interface. That made it technically possible to access it on Fire TVs through the Silk browser, but the experience was quite clunky. The Roku Channel was eventually released as a standalone app for Andoird and iOS mobile devices.
Since Roku is now much more of a content and advertising company, than a hardware company, it makes sense that they want to get their app/channel in front of as many people as possible, even if that means bringing it to their largest competitor, the Fire TV. After all, Prime Video is obviously available on Roku devices and IMDb TV’s free ad-supported content is accessible within that app.
You don’t need to create an account or log in to The Roku Channel app to begin watching free content. If you scroll to the very bottom of the app there is the ability to log in, if you’d like, to track and personalize the content recommendations within the app. Logging in also gives you access to any premium subscriptions, which are similar to Prime Video Channels, that you may be subscribed to. You’re not able to subscribe to those channels directly from the app on Fire TV devices.