Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) notoriously likes to keep pertinent metrics close to the vest, only sharing information with investors on rare occasions. The e-commerce titan did finally confirm that it hit 100 million Prime members a little over a year ago, although it still refuses to disclose Prime revenue directly, even after being prodded by the SEC. Given Amazon's historical caginess, it's a welcome departure that the company seems to be in a sharing mood.
Amazon has officially shared just how many Fire TV users it has.
Users can control Fire TV Cube with just their voice. Image source: Amazon.
34 million and counting
In an interview with Cheddar this week, Fire TV chief Jennifer Prenner announced that Amazon now has 34 million monthly active users (MAUs) on its streaming-TV platform.
Amazon has been expanding its Fire TV product portfolio, including the addition of Fire TV Cube last year, and Prenner says the growing hardware lineup is resonating with consumers since Amazon is addressing a large range of price points and use cases. The company also partnered with longtime retail rival Best Buy last year to sell Fire TV Edition smart TVs, which integrate Amazon's video-streaming platform.
For reference, Roku (NASDAQ: ROKU) said it had 29.1 million active accounts in the first quarter. Roku, which is one of Amazon's main competitors in streaming media players, defines an active account somewhat differently than an MAU, and considers the metric a "proxy for a household," according to CNET. "Per household streaming grew to an average of roughly 3.5 hours a day per active account, representing nearly half of average U.S. per-household daily viewing," Roku wrote in its first-quarter shareholder letter.
The streaming wars are intensifying
Tech and media companies large and small are pushing deep into video streaming this year, and increasingly starting to work together more. Amazon and Alphabet subsidiary Google are collaborating again on video, bringing YouTube back to FireTV while adding Chromecast support to Amazon's devices. Apple will launch its new TV app and Apple TV+ on Fire TV, and Disney will similarly bring its forthcoming streaming service Disney+ to Amazon's platform.
When asked about rumors that Amazon is working on a free, ad-supported version of Prime Video (they pop up every few years), Prenner declined to comment on the company's future road map, although she acknowledged it will "always have a need for both." Over 40% of Fire TV users consume free content, according to the executive. Amazon subsidiary IMDb, the popular repository for TV and movie information, launched an ad-supported service called Freedive earlier this year, as part of Amazon's broader effort to grow its advertising business.
"In terms of Prime Video content and third-party content, we consider ourselves a really agnostic platform, Fire TV is," Prenner told Cheddar. "We want all of the content that customers want to access to be there for them."
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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of AMZN, AAPL, and DIS. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends GOOGL, GOOG, AMZN, AAPL, and DIS. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on AAPL and short January 2020 $155 calls on AAPL. The Motley Fool recommends Roku. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.