With demand for streaming video surges during the COVID-19 crisis, Amazon Fire TV is adding a dedicated free content tab to its homepage.
The feature will begin rolling out to all Fire TV customers in the U.S. today. It highlights ad-supported streaming services including Tubi, Pluto TV and Crackle along with Amazon’s IMDb TV. The tab will also point users toward apps like Twitch, Red Bull, PBS and PBS Kids that offer free content.
The Free tab will feature other types of free to watch content as well, including unlocked content from streaming services and a set of rows of kids and family content that is currently free to all Amazon customers through Prime Video.
The new, dedicated tab for free streaming content comes after last month Amazon added an #AtHome section that curates a selection of free content on Fire TV devices and Fire tablets for families stuck inside during the COVID-19 crisis.
With most Americans under stay at home orders during the coronavirus pandemic, many streaming services including ad-supported platforms have seen big spikes in usage. Roku said its overall streaming hours increased by 1.6 billion hours over last quarter to 13.2 billion, which it said was a record.
In April, Reelgood said viewership across all free ad-supported platforms was up by 148% compared to the first week of March. The company said Tubi accounted for more than one quarter of all AVOD playback from March 2 to April 19, 2020.