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Amazon Fire TV challenges Roku with free shows — here’s what you get

Amazon Fire TV free channel
(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon's Fire TV platform is rolling out its own free TV streaming hub as a rival to the popular Roku Channel, which aggregates popular free TV shows and movies. 

Today, Amazon introduced a dedicated tab titled "Free" where users can browse 20,000 titles from apps including Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Crackle, The CW and Twitch. The Free tab will be easily accessible from Fire TV's main navigation menu and will highlight featured partners like IMDB TV and Amazon News as well as curated collections, personalized recommendations and trending movies and shows.

With many people staying at home during the pandemic, demand for streaming (and free streaming) has skyrocketed. Amazon clearly saw the popularity of the Roku Channel — an attractive value-add for Roku streaming devices — and wanted a destination of its own. Amazon Fire TV powers a wide range of television sets as well as the Amazon Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick 4K.

"The new Free tab offers customers a single destination to a curated selection from thousands of free movies, TV shows, news, and more," senior product marketing manager Michael Polin wrote in an announcement blog post.

The Free tab browsing experience starts with a "featured apps" row and then moves on to curated and thematic sections. There are rows for content that is free for all Amazon Prime customers, including one dedicated to kids shows and family movies. The tab will also feature unlocked content from other streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu and Disney Plus.

The new Amazon Fire TV Free tab goes live today.