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  1. Amazon’s Fire TV platform now has over 40 million users, the company announced today. That’s up from the 34 million it claimed in May 2019 and more than the 32.3 million active accounts Roku reported during its Q3 2019 results this past November. Roku’s “active accounts” figure describes those accounts where users have streamed at least once during the past 30 days, but Roku notes that one Roku account may be shared by multiple members of the same household. However, the same can be said for Fire TV which, like Roku, doesn’t offer an easy interface for switching between different user profiles in order to create a personalized home screen or watch list. When Fire TV was touting its 34 million users, it had then led Roku by 5 million active accounts. With now 40 million monthly actives, that lead has widened to 7.7 million users. But the two platforms are often very close in terms of user numbers, with Amazon’s lead narrowing when Roku’s earnings are released — as they’ll soon be in early 2020. At that point, Roku will have likely added several million more users to its own figures, keeping the two platforms more neck and neck. Roku and Fire TV have proven to be fierce competitors, with Roku’s free movies and TV hub, The Roku Channel, spurring Amazon to leverage its IMDb subsidiary to launch a free streaming service, IMDb TV, also a Fire TV feature. Meanwhile, Roku has been developing its own voice control platform to counteract Fire TV’s advantage that comes from including virtual assistant Alexa with its connected TV platform. And while Roku has benefitted from its reputation as a neutral platform providing access to any streaming service, Amazon has been evolving to better support its rivals’ streaming services, including most recently YouTube, YouTube TV, and Apple TV’s app. Fire TV’s 40 million monthly actives figure is new today, but other figures about Alexa’s traction that Amazon shared were not. This includes the over 100,000 Alexa-compatible smart home products from more than 9,500 unique brands, the more than 100,000 skills from Alexa developers, and the hundreds of products with Alexa built-in. These were detailed at Amazon’s Alexa event this past fall, now an annual occurrence. Source
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