Amazon is joining the free streaming news wars with a new app for its Fire TV devices. The free app, simply called News, will let users pick their favorite sources from a list that includes CBS News, Reuters, Bloomberg, Sports Illustrated, People, and more. After choosing some sources, the app will automatically run a custom playlist of stories, which users can skip through with the Fire TV remote or Alexa voice commands. The app will also have sections for live news, trending topics, and categories.
A lot of these sources are already streaming on other platforms. On Roku, for instance, the free Roku Channel app includes live feeds from Yahoo News, Cheddar, and Newsy, among others, while Viacom’s Pluto TV app includes CBS, Bloomberg, and Cheddar among its news channels. The main difference with Amazon’s app is personalization, and while we’ve seen some attempts at personalized news on apps such as Haystack TV and Plex, Amazon’s app will have the advantage of being front and center on millions of Fire TV streaming devices.
Amazon says the News app will roll out gradually for U.S. users over the next few weeks, and it will appear in the “Your Apps and Channels” row on the home screen.